BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Less than a day after a deadly shooting inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, five people have been arrested, according to Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges.
"We know the how, the where, the what and the who, we don't know the why," said Hodges.
A search warrant, executed by the St. Louis Park and Edina SWAT teams was conducted in St. Louis Park around 8:40 a.m., according to the chief.
In total, five individuals were arrested, three of them are juveniles while the other two are 18 years old.
An altercation between two groups led to the shooting death of a 19-year-old man inside the Mall of America on Friday night, according to Bloomington Police.
Police said an unrelated bystander was also hit by a stray bullet in their jacket but was not injured.
“We are going to catch you, we are going to lock you up and you are going to get an orange jumpsuit,” Hodges said Friday night. “It's just a matter of when it's going to happen."
According to police, gunshots were heard inside the Nordstrom store on the first floor of the mall around 7:50 p.m. A BPD officer was in the shop next to Nordstrom when the scuffle and shooting broke out.
"Officers went into Nordstrom's and found one male who had been shot multiple times," Hodges said.
The Mall of America tweeted first tweeted that the building was on lockdown around 8:30 p.m. The lockdown was eventually lifted just after 9 p.m.
The victim was from Minnesota, but not a resident of Bloomington, according to the chief. At this point, investigators believe the 19-year-old was "involved in an altercation with a group of individuals" before shots were fired, police said.
"Turn yourselves in, do us all a favor, we are gonna catch you, we are gonna lock you up and you are gonna get an orange jumpsuit," said the chief.
Hodges said the Mall of America would reopen Saturday for Christmas Eve, but the Nordstrom store was expected to remain closed.
Since it opened in 1992, the mall has been a tourist destination and community gathering spot. It bans guns on the premises but shoppers have generally not been required to pass through metal detectors. The mall said in October it was testing a “weapons detection system” at one of its entrances.
Hodges said the mall is continuously evaluating its security measures, including the possibility of adding metal detectors. Still, the chief added, “if we have an incident where someone decides they want to pull out a gun and shoot somebody with a complete lack of respect for human life, then I still don't know what we can do to stop that.”
Police did not identify the man who was killed but Hodges said he and Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse spoke to the victim's relatives on Friday night.
“The family here — I really feel bad for them," Hodges said. "Their last week before Christmas and now they’re having to bury one of their loved ones.”
Mall video surveillance showed the altercation between the two groups — estimated as five to nine people — erupt into a fistfight before one person pulled out a gun and opened fire, the chief said.
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