Bloomington, Minn. ( Associated Press) – Five people have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a 19-year-old boy at a Mall of America, the nation’s largest mall closed in the final days of the holiday shopping season. , the police said on Saturday.
At an evening press conference, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges announced arrests in connection with Friday night’s shooting in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington and disclosed that all would face murder charges, the Minneapolis Daily Star Tribune reported.
According to the Star Tribune, Hodges said the suspects arrested were two 18-year-olds and three 17-year-olds, and that they were taken into custody by officers early in the morning at a home in St. Louis Park, a suburb of Minneapolis. From the SWAT Tactical Squad of Police from the Three Jurisdictions.
The police chief said one of the 18-year-olds is believed to have fired the shot, although another suspect may have also fired a weapon. Authorities are still searching for a sixth suspect.
“In Bloomington, if you come to our mall and murder people, you get one of these for Christmas,” Hodges was quoted by the newspaper as holding an orange prison jumpsuit.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted Saturday that the mall shooting was “absolutely unacceptable.” We are in touch with the local authorities to provide them with the necessary assistance and resources.”
Police did not identify the victim, but Hodges said he and Bloomington Mayor Tim Buss spoke with the victim’s family Friday night.
According to police, it appeared that there was some sort of dispute between two groups, which turned into a scuffle and someone pulled out a gun and shot the victim multiple times. The whole incident lasted only about 30 seconds.
A nearby Bloomington police officer – one of 16 assigned to the mall that Friday – heard the shots at approximately 7:50 p.m. The agent took unsuccessful measures to save the victim’s life.
About an hour before the mall’s complete closure, the mall announced in a tweet that customers were being sent overseas.
Videos posted on social media showed customers demanding to hide in stores and malls asking people to find shelter. Some videos showed customers running away after hearing a loud noise.
Since its opening in 1992, the Mall of America has been a tourist destination and community gathering place. It prohibits weapons on its premises, but shoppers are generally not required to pass through metal detectors. The mall announced in October that it was testing a “weapon detection system” at one of its entrances.
The mall, located in a suburb near Minneapolis, was completely shut down in August after a shooting in which some customers ran for cover; And two people were apparently injured during a brawl last New Year’s Eve.