Mall of America bombing: Shots fired at Nike store after dispute

A shooting at the Mall of America sent the mall into lockdown Thursday afternoon, with police calling it an isolated incident.

Police do not believe anyone was shot and injured when someone opened fire inside the Mall of America on Thursday, creating panic and sending the mall into lockdown.

Officers responded to the mall around 4:15 p.m. for the shooting. Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said it appears the shooting began with a dispute between two groups at the cash registers inside the Nike store. The conflict ended with one person drawing a gun and firing shots.

“They decided to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for human life,” Chief Hodges said. “They decided to fire several bullets into a store with people.”

Chief Hodges says at this stage of the investigation, it does not appear that anyone was injured by the gunfire. Still, the police are looking for the suspects involved in the case.

Blood allegedly found at the scene appears to be from a trip and fall of a guest leaving the mall.

Police Research at Best Western

Following shots fired at the mall, police spent hours searching the Best Western Hotel on Killebrew Drive on the south side of the mall. Police said they have information the suspects may have been there. But, in the end, the search ended without arrest.

Second shoot in less than a year

Neither the mall nor Chief Hodges had a solution to prevent future acts of violence like Thursday’s shooting in the future.

Chief Hodges says his officers were not far from the mall when shots were fired and crews arrived on the scene within 30 seconds.

“If someone decides they don’t value human life and they choose to pull out a gun, I don’t know what we can do,” the chief said. “We train for this, we do this…but if an individual decides they have no respect for human life, I don’t know of any defense for that.”

No one appears to have been injured in Thursday’s shooting. But that wasn’t the case in December when another mall shooting on New Year’s Eve left two people injured. During this incident, someone opened fire on the third floor of the mall.

Speaking on Thursday, mall spokesman Dan Jasper said there will be increased security and policing on Friday morning when the mall reopens and in the coming days. Jasper says the mall will explore “all options” to keep mall customers safe. But, Jasper wasn’t sure about the feasibility of the mall adding metal detectors to the doors.

“We continue to review all security options and try to determine what makes the most sense,” Jasper said. “Honestly, it’s an open building in an open society. Metal detectors are not common in retail or food retail or most places we go. But we have a lot of other security devices in place, including highly trained officers, including security cameras, including other technologies that we use that the guest never sees, that we implement to ensure their safety.

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