Shoppers describe their horror in St. Cloud as knife attack unfolded

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Shoppers inside the Crossroads Center during Saturday night's knife attack have been describing the chaos in the mall as they ran for safety.

Reports suggest the knife-wielding suspect attacked visitors to the mall near Macy's shortly after 8 p.m., before he was shot dead by an off-duty police officer.

Harley and Tama Exsted, of Isle, were among those in the mall at the time, and told KARE 11 they were first alerted when they hears a "pop pop pop."

"It was a pa-paw, and then we saw the people start to run, which didn't catch me at first," Harley Exsted said. "But when we heard the screaming, then we knew it was time to go."

Workers and shoppers shared their experiences on social media after they made it out safe.

https://twitter.com/Brittney6373/status/777401076131647489

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One of the stabbing victims was "just drenched" in blood, according to College of St. Benedict freshman Jenna Remmele, who was in the mall with her friends Sydney Weires and Maggie Gelke, according to the St. Cloud Times.

"We saw these two guys. One guy was bleeding from the side of his face," Weires added. "He was screaming at us, 'get the F out!'" She added that a security guard was sprinting down the hallway toward Target yelling "Call the cops!"

The mall was put on lockdown as authorities arrived, with shoppers who had taken cover inside eventually brought to the food mall as police conducted a search.

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JCPenney employee Ashley Bayne was off on Saturday but went to the mall to visit a friend.

"I went closer to the mall entrance by J.C. Penney’s and I was looking at some jeans and all the sudden people were just running in chaos," she told WCCO. "They were screaming, ‘Someone’s stabbing people in the mall,’ and people were just really frantic and were running."

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