A man wearing a private security uniform and armed with at least one knife stabbed eight people on Saturday at a mall in central Minnesota before he was shot dead by an off-duty police officer, authorities said.
The incident at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, a community about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul, occurred at around 8 p.m. local time as the mall was bustling with shoppers, St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson told reporters.
“It’s an awful day, honestly, we’ve got eight victims that were assaulted here in our mall,” Anderson told reporters at a midnight news conference.
The eight people were transported to St. Cloud Hospital but none were believed to have life-threatening injuries, said Chris Nelson, a communications specialist for the medical facility.
Anderson said the suspect acted alone.
“Whether that was a terror attack or not, I’m just not going to say because we just don’t know,” he said.
Police were investigating the motive for the stabbings, which prompted a lockdown of the mall, and were still interviewing witnesses four hours after the attack, the police chief said.
Sydney Weires, a freshman at the College of St. Benedict who was shopping with friends inside the mall when the stabbing occurred, told the St. Cloud Times that she saw one man bleeding down the side of his face and another man with blood on the back of his shirt.
The off-duty police officer who shot the suspect was from a jurisdiction outside of St. Cloud, Anderson said. He would not say which agency employs the officer.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Susan Fenton)