Man Stabs 8 at Minnesota Mall in Attack Claimed by IS

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -
Crime_2

A man in a private security uniform stabbed eight people at a Minnesota shopping mall, reportedly mentioning All-h and asking at least one victim if they were Muslim before an off-duty police officer shot and killed him, authorities said.

All eight victims were treated at a hospital for non-life threatening wounds, and all but one was later released, St. Cloud police Chief Blair Anderson said at a news conference. The eighth was admitted, but no other details about that person’s condition were released.

The attack happened at around 8 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Center in St. Cloud, a city of about 65,000 people 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

A man in a security uniform and armed with a knife stabbed people in several locations in the mall, including corridors, businesses and common areas, the chief said. He said an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction shot and killed the suspect, though he didn’t say where that officer serves.

Anderson said the man reportedly made at least one reference to All-h and asked a victim if they were Muslim before attacking them.

Anderson did not identify the attacker, but he said police had had three previous encounters with him, most for minor traffic violations. He said authorities have no reason to believe anyone else was involved in the attack, and that the FBI had offered to help with the investigation.

“The entire mall is an active crime scene,” Anderson said.

An Islamic State-run news agency, Rasd, claimed Sunday that the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State” who had heeded the group’s calls for attacks in countries that are part of a U.S.-led anti-IS coalition.

It was not immediately clear if theterrorist group had planned the attack or even knew about it beforehand. IS has encouraged so-called “lone wolf” attacks. It has also claimed past attacks that are not believed to have been planned by its central leadership.

The St. Cloud mall remained on lockdown following the attack, 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.

There also were reports of some shots fired during the attack.

 


Updated Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm .