Shooting forces Mall of America into another lockdown
At least one person was reportedly shot and killed inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota on Friday evening. Shoppers were ordered to seek shelter inside, as police descended on the building, which went into a lockdown for the third time in less than a year.
“Bloomington Police and EMS are on scene of a reported shooting at the Mall Of America. MOA is on lockdown. Please stay out of the area,” police announced in a tweet shortly after 8pm local time.
The mall itself urged the visitors to “please remain in the closest secure location until the lockdown has been lifted,” in a separate tweet. About an hour later, the venue announced that the lockdown was over and that “guests should now exit the property.”
Fox Minneapolis reported at least one fatality, but the number of casualties has yet to be officially confirmed. Authorities only said that the “shooting scene has been secured” and that police were working with the mall's security staff and the “Hennepin County Crime Lab to process the area.”
Footage from the scene showed at least half a dozen police, EMS and fire department vehicles near the entrance to the building. Another video captured an announcement via loudspeakers urging those “who are not currently in a secure location” to “seek shelter immediately.”
The lockdown happened during a busy shopping season just two days before Christmas, and marked the third such incident over the past year. Two people were injured in a shooting at the largest US mall last New Year’s Eve, while a shooting in August caused no injuries, but also triggered panic and a brief lockdown.