Police in Bloomington say an altercation inside a store Thursday afternoon led to multiple rounds of gunfire inside Mall of America.
Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges provided more information Thursday evening on the incident that prompted a lockdown at the mall.
According to Hodges, video footage indicates an altercation took place between two groups at the cash register inside the Nike store before the gunfire broke out.
"But instead of walking away, they decided to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for human life," Hodges said. "They decided to fire multiple rounds into a store with people."
At 4:15 p.m., a Bloomington officer heard shots fired and responded within seconds, according to Hodges. The suspects fled the scene and have not yet been located.
"Fortunately, at this time, it doesn't appear that anyone was injured," Hodges said, adding the incident appears to be isolated and authorities don't believe there's a further danger to the public.
"I just want to say to those who committed this act — please turn yourself in," he continued. "Please turn yourself in, but should you choose not to — our officers, our partners are detectives will not stop until we lock you up."
Hodges said it appears one person fired shots, with a total of three shots fired from a handgun.
“Tonight’s violence at the Mall of America is unacceptable,” said Gov. Tim Walz in a statement. “These brazen incidents will not be tolerated. State resources are on the scene, we have offered our full support, and we will maintain close communication with Bloomington police to apprehend those responsible. We are committed to maintaining an unprecedented state law enforcement presence in the Twin Cities until we put a stop to this rise in crime.”
There was a large police presence at the Best Western located along Killebrew Drive across the street from the mall around 7 p.m. That was related to the investigation, but the scene has since cleared.
"That was the location where we believed they may have fled," said Hodges, "but turns out they weren't. Nobody there now."
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Bloomington Police at 952-563-4900.