BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Mall of America reopened to shoppers Friday, as police continued to look for the two suspects wanted in
There were security vehicles posted outside of the mall and authorities say there is more of a security presence inside the mall on Friday.
A mall spokesman says they are working with shoppers to relocate merchandise they may have left behind while they were trying to take cover.
As of now, police say no one was injured, but the shooting sent shoppers into a panic and the mall into lockdown. The mall eventually closed for the evening.
Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges says it was a fight inside the Mall of America’s Nike store that led to the mall’s second shooting in less than eight months.
“Instead of walking away, they decided to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for human life,” Hodges said.
Suspects fired three shots total. Hodges says police were on scene inside of 30 seconds, while others scrambled to safety.
“We’re trying to hear what’s happening, we come up the escalator, and then we hear pop pop pop. We just keep running I guess,” Yussuf Malin said.
This morning we talked with shoppers and asked them their feelings about returning to the mall.
“Coming from Canada we aren’t used to it. Because of the gun laws and that. Nobody carries guns,” said Tony Romeo, who came with his family from Winnipeg, Manitoba. They were at the mall Thursday but left just before the shooting took place.
Raymond Purnell and his family came from Chicago for a vacation. They were at the mall for 20 minutes Thursday before they had to go into lockdown with other families. He recorded most of it on his phone.
“All the parents in there, we are trying to keep each other calm. But we are letting people know that if someone comes in we are going to have to rush them,” said Raymond.
“She was traumatized. They pushed and shoved us into rooms,” said Tatyanna Purnell, referring to her daughter. “I’m looking around trying to see what could possibly do to protect my kids if someone comes and tries to shoot us. I don’t know what would be the next step.”
Overall, families said they feel safe police responded as fast as they did. But the shooting is something they’ll think about going forward. Especially in large crowds.
“If someone decides they don’t value human life and they choose to pull out a weapon, I don’t know what we can do,” Hodges said.
Police thought one of the suspects took a shuttle to a hotel across the street from the mall. Bloomington Police, the State Patrol, and ATF all showed up there, but didn’t find anyone.
Police have not released a description of the suspects.
This is the second shooting inside the mall in the last 8 months. On New Years Eve, Kahlil Wiley opened fire in the mall around 5 p.m. and hit two people.. Wiley is serving just under four years in prison.