Police have confirmed multiple injuries in a mass stabbing incident in St. Cloud, Minnesota’s Crossroads Mall. The suspect, police say, is dead, though they have not provided more information.
Update 1:10 AM ET: In a press briefing, police officials confirmed that the suspect made “references to Allah” while conducting the terrorist attack and “asked at least one person if they were Muslim when they assaulted them.” Officials noted that there is “no evidence” that any other individuals were involved in the attack, and there is “no imminent threat” to civilians as the suspect was killed in a confrontation with an off-duty police officer.
The suspect is has no significant criminal background, police noted, with only three incidents on his record, “most minor traffic violations.”
The individual in question was wearing a “private security uniform.” Officials do not have any evidence tying it to “any other incident,” including the bombs discovered in New Jersey and an explosion in New York.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said police still “need to figure out what the motivation was” before confirming that the incident was an instance of jihad.
Mayor Dave Kleis said the mall will remain close “until further notice.”
Update 1:04 AM ET: Witnesses speaking to the St. Cloud Times report seeing the victims “drenched” in blood, and witnessing one victim bleeding from the back and another “from the side of his face.” Minnesota radio station Rockin’ 101.7 reports that police have postponed a press conference scheduled for 11PM local time until more information is readily available. The radio station notes that reports indicate the suspect is dead and his remains are in the mall’s Macy’s store.
Update 12:33 AM ET: Video uploaded to YouTube by Hannah Kosloski appears to show the developing situation within the Crossroads mall. Police have begun to allow people to leave in an orderly fashion, demanding identification to chronicle every person who was in the mall at the time of the attack.
Update 12:19 AM ET: The complete lockdown on the building appears to have been lifted, as witnesses say those stuck in the mall are slowly starting to surface at the entrance. Press are awaiting more details from police.
Update 12:12 AM ET: ABC affiliate KSTP reports that at least eight people were injured in the attack; the St. Cloud Times notes that one of those eight was admitted to the hospital, while the rest sustained “non-life threatening injuries.” Video from outside the mall during the ongoing attack has now surfaced on social media:
The incident appears to have begun sometime between 8:20 and 9PM local time, according to various local news reports. The St. Cloud Times reports that the mall has been walled off by a “major police presence,” and that multiple people have been stabbed. While the police confirmed that they believe the suspect is dead, though they are following other leads on potential accomplices, they have not indicated the condition of those injured.
“Unofficial reports from the scene say there may be multiple gunshot and stabbing victims,” the Times reports.
Local NBC affiliate KARE 11 has posted some photos of the mall and confirmed that the suspect is dead.
Witnesses say the incident occurred quickly, with no notifications from mall personnel that an emergency was ongoing. Those who escaped say they only began running for exits when seeing a swarm of people screaming and running out.
In a press statement, St. Cloud police confirmed only that there were “multiple stabbings” and the “individual responsible… is deceased inside the mall.” Police are conducting “precautionary searches,” and “the incident is ongoing and is an active investigation.” They have scheduled a press conference for 11PM local time.