Police have arrested five people in connection with the murder of a 19-year-old at the Mall of America.
At an evening news conference, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges announced the arrests in connection with the Friday night shooting in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington and said all would face murder charges, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“In Bloomington, if you come here and murder people at our mall, you get one of these at at Christmas,” the newspaper quoted Hodges as saying while holding up an orange prison suit.
The suspects – three 17-year-old males and two 18-year-old males – were arrested after police executed a search warrant on Saturday, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges told reporters.
The chief added that one of the 18-year-olds is believed to be the shooter, though another suspect may also have fired a weapon. A sixth suspect was still being sought.
“We don’t know why this happened,” Hodges said. “And we don’t know the why, because people flat out are just not cooperating and people don’t want to talk.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said his office was working with local officials to provide support and resources, tweeting “the violence at MOA last night is absolutely unacceptable.
Police have not yet identified the slain 19-year-old, but the police chief and Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse have spoken with the man’s relatives.
“We have an incident where if someone decides that they want to pull out a gun and shoot somebody with complete lack of disrespect for human life, I still don’t know what we can do to stop that,” Hodges said.
Since it opened in 1992, the Mall of America 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.