BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – A 19-year-old man was killed Friday night after a shooting inside the Mall of America, authorities said.
According to Bloomington police Chief Booker Hodges, the shooting occurred inside a Nordstrom department store at the Minnesota mall, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported. The Mall of America is the largest mall in the U.S.
Hodges said during a news conference that the shooting involved an altercation between two groups of young men at about 7:50 p.m. CST, the newspaper reported. The people involved in the shooting fled the scene, Hodges said.
A Bloomington police officer who was in a nearby store heard the shots and responded to the scene, according to KSTP-TV.
“We had 16 officers working today in the mall. Sixteen cops,” Hodges told reporters. “And they still decide to do this. I’m at a loss.”
No arrests had been made by late Friday, the Star Tribune reported. Hodges said detectives are in the process of identifying suspects. The victim’s name has not been released, but Hodges said that he and Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse met with members of the victim’s family, according to the newspaper.
“Here we are before Christmas, and they’re going to have to bury a loved one,” Hodges said.
Hodges said that there would be arrests and said that anyone helping the people involved in the shooting would be prosecuted.
“If anybody helps these people — I mean so much as buy them a Happy Meal, give them a ride — we’re going to lock you up with them,” Hodges told reporters. “The people who are responsible for this — turn yourselves in. I mean, just do us all a favor.
“We are gonna catch you. We are gonna lock you up. And you are gonna get an orange jumpsuit,” Hodges said. “It’s just a matter of when it’s gonna happen but I strongly suggest you just turn yourself in.”
“People have been through enough loss and tragedy.”
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