Standoff at Mall of America

By: Isabelle Baidoo

On April 22, 2023, there was a standoff between police and a man in a parking lot of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The surrounding roads were closed and people couldn’t get into the parking lot the standoff was taking place in. Although the roads and parking lot were closed the mall remained open throughout the altercation.

A shopper at the mall called 911 and said that there was a man with a large gun in the parking lot next to his car. This call then led to the standoff which began at around 4 PM.

People in a nearby hotel were evacuated as well as the people at the Canadian International Circus. Buses were also detoured from the mall until later that night due to the police activity.

When police arrived on the scene, the man refused to drop his gun and remained stationary while holding the gun. Around 4:52 PM crisis negotiators were communicating with the man attempting to persuade him to surrender.

The family of the gunman reports that he was having a mental health crisis which could have contributed to him not putting his gun down when asked by police and crisis negotiators.

Then at 6:15 PM, after a few hours of negotiation, the man decided to lock himself in his car and refused to leave. But then after about an hour and a half, he exited the vehicle and was taken into custody.

This is not the first time there has been a gunman at the Mall of America, this has been an issue for years. For example, one of the more recent shootings, on December 23, 2023, resulted in the death of a 19-year-old man, and 5 arrested teenagers.

After the murder in December, the Mall of America’s Vice President of Security, Will Bernhjelm, provided insightful information on how security is run at the mall and how they’re trying to prevent these incidents from happening. They have security officers on bicycles that patrol the parking lots, there are six K-9 officers at the mall that smell copious varieties of explosives, and they have security cameras everywhere, some you can see and some you can’t.

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