Family witnesses St. Cloud mall attack

Family inside St. Cloud mall during attack

LITCHFIELD, Minn. - Saturday was supposed to be a night to celebrate for Ashly Clark and her family, celebrating her son acing his spelling test.

But, while shopping inside American Eagle, Ashly says she started noticing something wasn’t right.

“I saw a whole group of people just start running towards JC Penney’s,” Ashly says.

Ashly says her husband and three young boys quickly rushed inside the store with her for safety, but not before her 7-year-old saw the suspect being chased. 

“A guy with a white shirt running down the hallway, chasing the guy,” Lucas Clark says.

Ashly says she and her family spent around an hour inside the store, all the while, trying to comfort her three little ones.

“He was really in fear for his life. He thought we were all going to die and we weren’t going to come home,” Ashly said. "It’s hard to try to comfort him and talk him out of that because you really don’t know what is actually going on in the mall.”

After an hour Ashly says they were guided to the mall’s food court where there was more evidence of how serious the situation was.

“There were probably around six to 10 cops escorting everybody and they all had their assault rifles drawn,” she says. “My kids had never really seen a gun before.”

More than three hours since she heard the initial commotion, Ashly says she and her family were finally let out of the mall with a host of emergency vehicles outside.

A lot for anyone to process, especially a 7-year-old.


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