Five people have been arrested in connection with the death of a 19-year-old man at the Mall of America, police said.
The shooting took place at the country’s largest mall on Friday night after a fight broke out between two groups of men. The 19-year-old was shot and killed in front of a Nordstroms on the first floor of the mall.
Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges announced Saturday that five arrests have been made in connection with the shooting. He said all the individuals arrested will face murder charges
According to Mr Hodges, two 18-year-old boys and three 17-year-old boys were arrested by a SWAT team at a house in nearby St Louis Park.
Mr Hodges said one of the 18-year-olds was believed to be the alleged shooter, but noted another suspect may also have fired a weapon. Police are also looking for a possible sixth suspect.
“I’m pretty confident that we have the person responsible for killing the victim in custody,” he said at the press conference.
The chief said the shooting may have been the result of a “long-standing feud” between the two groups.
“So, you go to Bloomington and you think you’re going to kill people and get away with it? No, we don’t play that here. You will go to jail, and we will make sure that anyone who helped these people goes to jail as well,” said Mr Hodges.
Governor Tim Walz acknowledged the shooting Saturday, calling it “absolutely unacceptable.”
“We are liaising with local officials to provide the support and resources they need,” he said.
According to Mr Hodges, police have spoken to the victim’s family, but have not released his name publicly.
On the day of the shooting there were 16 Bloomington police officers stationed at the mall. One of them heard a gunshot and tried to save the victim, but was unsuccessful.
The shooting prompted a lockdown at the mall, closing it for the rest of the night on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The mall reopened the following day, though Nordstroms remained closed.
This is the second time this year that there has been a shooting at the mall. In August, a group of men opened fire on a Nike store with another group of men they had been fighting with earlier. No one was injured in that incident.
The Mall of America prohibits weapons on its premises, but does not require shoppers to pass through metal detectors at its entrances. According to the Associated Press, the mall said in October that it plans to test a “weapons detection system” in one of its entries.