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9 People Injured During Stabbing Attack at Minnesota Mall - Attacker shot dead
On Saturday night, Dahir Adan told his family that he was going out to buy a new phone. But when he got to the mall, he was wearing a security uniform that he had kept from a previous job and was wielding a knife, and his resulting stabbing rampage has left his family simply shell-shocked.
On Monday night, the family released their first statement since Adan’s rampage, saying that they were in “deep shock as everyone else is in the state of Minnesota.”
“We are devastated by the incomprehensible tragic event of last Saturday evening,” they said, according to a statement that was read aloud by their attorney, Abdulwahid Osman.
They said that they were struggling to understand why Adan, a Somali man who had lived in the United States since he was a toddler, would go on a rampage like that.
“The family said he was happy, joyful, worked full time, did well in high school. The last time he went out, he said he was going to buy an iPhone,” said Haji Yussuf, a local community leader.
While the FBI is currently investigating the attack “as a potential act of terrorism,” there is not yet any evidence to show that Adan’s attack was motivated by ties to ISIS or other extremist groups, though rumors to that effect have been circulating since the attack.
“We haven’t uncovered anything that would suggest [he was not a] lone attacker at this point,” St. Cloud’s police chief, William Blair Anderson, said Sunday.
9 people were injured during a stabbing attack at a Minnesota shopping mall that ended with the suspected attacker — who was dressed in a private security uniform and made references to Allah — shot dead by an off-duty police officer, authorities said.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said during a news conference shortly after midnight that eight people were taken to St. Cloud Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the attack first reported about 8:15 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Center. One person was admitted. No further details were released.
Anderson said an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction shot and killed the unidentified suspect, who was armed with a knife and wearing a private security firm uniform at the time of the attack. Anderson did not say where the off-duty officer serves.
Anderson also said the suspect made at least one reference to Allah during the attack and asked at least one person whether they were Muslim.
But Anderson declined to call the attacks an act of terrorism, saying the motive for the attacks isn't known yet. "We will be diligent and get to the bottom of this," Anderson said. "Starting tomorrow, things won't be the same here."
Local police had three previous encounters with the suspect, most for minor traffic violations, Anderson said, adding that the FBI had offered to help with the investigation.
Authorities "have no reason to believe" anyone else was involved in the attacks, Anderson said. He said the stabbings occurred in several places within the mall, including corridors, businesses and common areas.
"The entire mall is an active crime scene," Anderson said.
The mall remained on lockdown following the incident, but authorities expected those remaining inside to be released early Sunday. Photos and video of the mall taken hours after the incident showed groups of shoppers waiting to be released, including some huddled together near a food court entrance.
Harley and Tama Exsted of Isle, Minnesota, who were in St. Cloud to watch their son play in a college golf tournament, were in the mall when the incident occurred.
"All of a sudden I heard pop, pop, pop," Harley Exsted told the St. Cloud Times. "I thought someone tipped over a shelf. All of a sudden these people started running. I just saw everybody running our way."
There also were reports of some shots fired during the attack.
The couple were unharmed and said they helped another woman who was running from the scene to her car.
Adonis Samuels, 42, of St. Cloud, was outside the mall where his wife Roxanne is employed as a manager at Clinique at Macy's.
"She called me on the phone and told me she was hiding under the counter with a customer," Samuels said. She later called and said she was safe in a secured area.
Samuels remained outside, watching for her. He said he'd seen her through the glass doors at one point so he knew she was safe.
St. Cloud is about 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis.