CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Shooting sends Mall of America into lockdown, police say

Dec 23, 2022, 8:07 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 3:02 pm
FILE - Shoppers, visitors and employees exit the Mall of America on March 17, 2020 as the mall in B...
FILE - Shoppers, visitors and employees exit the Mall of America on March 17, 2020 as the mall in Bloomington, Minn. The mall was placed on lockdown on Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, after reports of a shooting. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — A shooting at the Mall of America sent frightened customers at the nation’s largest shopping center racing into a lockdown just before the holiday weekend, mall officials and police in suburban Minneapolis said Friday.

The Bloomington Police Department responded to the shooting shortly before 8 p.m., the mall said in a statement. The lockdown lasted for about an hour before the mall tweeted that shoppers were being sent outside. Emergency vehicles had converged in the snowy parking lot and police could be seen putting up yellow crime scene tape near the Nordstrom store.

Police did not immediately provide details on whether anyone was injured or arrested. A press briefing was scheduled for 10:30 p.m.

Videos posted on social media show shoppers hiding in stores, and an announcement in the mall warned people to seek shelter. Some videos show shoppers running for cover after a loud bang is heard.

The reported shooting comes as shopping centers and malls across the U.S. see an influx of customers just days before Christmas.

Jenny Hefty of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and her 16-year-old daughter had just gotten off the escalator up to the mall’s second floor, in front of the Nordstrom store, when people started running toward them and screaming. Her daughter thought she heard gunshots, although Hefty did not.

“At first we thought they were just messing around,” she told The Associated Press on Friday night. “It was like ‘why are all these kids running by us?’”

Retailers began shutting their doors and her husband told them to run as armed guards rushed toward Nordstrom, where Hefty had been trying perfume about 20 minutes earlier.

The trio raced to their hotel in the mall complex and frantically tried to reach the couple’s 18-year-old daughter, 21-year-old son and their friends on their cellphones. They had been shut inside stores or whisked into safer spots as the mall locked down.

The family, which often travels the four hours to the mall, was in town for the Minnesota Vikings football game against the New York Giants on Saturday.

“Of course we wanted to come early and do some Christmas shopping,” Hefty said.

The Giants were staying at a hotel adjacent to the mall. Pat Hanlon, the team’s executive vice president of communications, said he believes some players were in the mall at the time of the shooting.

“Everyone is back in the hotel and accounted for now,” Hanlon said Friday night.

Since it opened in 1992, the mall has been a tourist destination and community gathering spot. It bans guns on the premises but shoppers have generally not been required to pass through metal detectors. The mall said in October it was testing a “weapons detection system” at one of its entrances.

The mall was placed on lockdown in August after a reported shooting at the suburban Minneapolis shopping complex sent some shoppers running for cover and two people were wounded last New Year’s Eve during an apparent altercation.

Representatives from the city of Bloomington did not immediately return requests for comment.

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

The Weber County Sheriff’s Office says it’s shortening response times by letting deputies hear ...
Mike Anderson

Allowing deputies to hear 911 calls is saving lives in Weber County

The Weber County Sheriff’s Office says they're the first agency in Utah to use Live 911, a way for deputies to hear 911 calls.
11 hours ago
Salt Lake City Police arrested a 31-year-old man Monday morning after he allegedly threatened anoth...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City police arrest man after road rage incident, involving a gun

A 31-year-old man was arrested early Monday morning following a road rage incident. Police say the suspect allegedly threatened another person with a gun.
1 day ago
balloons...
By Natasha Bertrand and Haley Britzky, CNN

Pentagon says it had ‘an awareness gap’ that led to failure to detect 3 Chinese balloons under Trump

The American military had a "domain awareness gap" that allowed 3 other suspected Chinese spy balloons to transit the United States undetected
1 day ago
Two employees were pronounced dead after being reported unconscious at the Northrop Grumman Space ...
Waverly Golden

GoFundMe created for passing of two employees at Northrop Grumman

Two employees were pronounced dead after being reported unconscious at the Northrop Grumman Space Systems on Jan. 30, just after 6 p.m.
1 day ago
GOSHEN, CA - JANUARY 16: Tulare County Sheriff crime unit investigates the scene where six people, ...
Cheri Mossburg, CNN

2 arrested in central California shooting that left 6 dead, including mother clutching 10-month-old son

Originally Published: 03 FEB 23 16:30 ET Updated: 05 FEB 23 22:44 ET     (CNN) — Two suspects were taken into custody, one after a shootout, in a “cartel-style” massacre last month that left six people dead in central California, including a young mother and her 10-month-old son, authorities announced Friday. The suspects, identified in charging […]
1 day ago
little cottonwood canyon pictured, avalanche risk there is high...
Devin Oldroyd

Backcountry skier dead after fatal fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A backcountry skier is dead after "tumbling a significant distance," according to the Unified Police Department. The incident occurred near Lisa Falls.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Shooting sends Mall of America into lockdown, police say