Eight injured in US mall stabbing spree
A MAN making “some references to Allah” stabbed and injured eight people in a shopping mall in the US state of Minnesota before being shot dead by an off-duty officer, police said.
“The suspect asked at least one person if they were Muslim before he assaulted them,” siad Blair Anderson, the police chief in the city of St Cloud where the attack took place.
But he emphasised that the assailant’s motivation remained unclear and said “whether that was a terrorist attack or not, I can’t say right now because we just don’t know”.
Mr Anderson said the armed suspect entered the Crossroads Centre mall in St Cloud – a city of about 67,000 people some 70 miles (110 kilometres) northwest of Minneapolis – and attacked at least eight people.
The lone suspect was wearing a private security uniform and had at least one knife, and “made some references to Allah”, the police chief said.
“That suspect was confronted by an off-duty police officer and summarily shot and killed,” he said.
Mr Anderson said the eight people injured were taken to a hospital, where one is expected to remain.
The suspect had a history of minor traffic violations, Mr Anderson said, adding that police do not currently have reason to believe the attack was connected to any other incident.
The St Cloud mall was put on lockdown in the aftermath of the attack. The facility will remain closed as police continue their investigation.
“It’s an awful day,” Mr Anderson said. “Starting tomorrow things won’t be the same here.” –