The Mall of America was placed on lockdown Thursday evening after shots were fired in what police called an “isolated incident” in the Bloomington, Minnesota, shopping center. No injuries have been reported.
The shooting occurred around 4:16 p.m. local time and the lockdown was lifted a little under two hours later, the mall said in a statement Thursday night. Bloomington Police chief Booker Hodges said Thursday night that there had been an altercation between two groups near the cash registers of the Nike store. One of the groups left, but then returned, and one person fired three shots into the store, Hodges said.
Nobody appears to have been injured, Hodges said, but two suspects fled on foot and were still at large as of Thursday evening. Police had responded to a nearby hotel where they believed the suspects may have been, but did not find them, according to Hodges.
Hodges said an officer happened to be near the store at the time of the shooting, and police responded within 30 seconds. Video posted to social media showed police with rifles responding to the scene as panicked shoppers ran for safety.
The shopping center will remain closed for the rest of Thursday evening, police and the mall both said in statements.
Witnesses described tohearing gunshots.
“We were about to go into the Nike store, and we heard a lot of commotion, and then we just look over and just heard pop, pop, pop,” Jodiss Pierre said. “You duck and then you run, but while you run you look back to make sure your family is OK. That’s what I did because I was with my family, I had to make sure they were good. And then we just ran to the closest exit.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement, “tonight’s violence at the Mall of America is unacceptable. These brazen incidents will not be tolerated.”