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MOA shooting suspect arrested, second person released without charges

The Hennepin County Attorney' Office said Wednesday that investigators believe the shooter "acted independently."

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired on KARE 11 on Jan. 1, 2021.

Bloomington Police have arrested a second person in connection to the New Year's Eve shooting at the Mall of America.

According to police, an 18-year-old man from St. Paul was taken into custody on the 2600 block of Rice Street in Roseville on Jan. 4.

The suspect, who police believe fired a gun inside the mall on Dec. 31, was booked on Tuesday for first-degree assault, and is currently being held pending charges by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

Bloomington Police said they recovered a gun during the arrest.

On Sunday, a 19-year-old was arrested for probable cause of aiding and abetting first-degree assault in connection to the shooting. Investigators said the man was seen fleeing the mall on Dec. 31 with the alleged shooter, but on Jan. 5, the 19-year-old was released from jail without being charged.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, investigators believe the alleged shooter "acted independently," and there isn't enough evidence to prove the 19-year-old intentionally aided and abetted the shooter.

The shooting happened around 5 p.m. Friday and prompted a temporary lockdown at MOA. At a press conference, police said an officer at the mall heard one shot fired from the third floor of the north end of the building. One person was found shot in the leg, and a second person, believed to be a bystander, was grazed by the bullet and had minor injuries.

People inside MOA described a "panicked stampede" right around the time the shooting occurred. Dawn Trautman, who was visiting the mall while on vacation from New York City, was in Zara during the lockdown.

"People were even running down the 'up' escalator, just trying to get out of there," Trautman said. "It's crazy because I have lived in New York City for 18 years, and I have never seen anything like this at all."

RELATED: Security expert weighs in on Mall of America's response to Friday night's shooting

Michael Rozin, president of Rozin Security Consulting, has more than 20 years of experience in the world of international security, law enforcement, and counterterrorism. For six years, he worked with Mall of America.

While not speaking on behalf of the mall, Rozin said "they have invested a significant amount of effort to institute this response to active threat situations like what we have seen yesterday," referencing the training of the tenants and store employees.

"All the tenants and employees are regularly trained in those methods, and I think they just responded as they were trained, which was really good."

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