Yesterday afternoon I went to the Nordstrom store at the Mall of America, which is not far from where I live, to buy my wife a Christmas present. A few hours later, there was a murder in that store:

A shooting inside the Nordstrom department store at the Mall of America on Friday night left a 19-year-old man dead, according to Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges.

Hodges said during a late-night news conference that the shooting involved an altercation between two groups of young men…

Presumably the “groups of young men” were rival gangs.

…and that the individuals involved fled the scene immediately after the shooting, which occurred about 7:50 p.m. on the eve of Christmas weekend.

The chief finds the situation inexplicable:

“We had 16 officers working today in the mall. Sixteen cops,” Hodges said. “And they still decide to do this. I’m at a loss.”

I will hazard a wild guess: all of the youths who were involved in the gang altercation already have considerable experience with Minnesota’s criminal justice system, mostly as juveniles. They took away a lesson from those experiences: in Minnesota, crime is not punished severely, and often, as with the George Floyd riots, it seems to be condoned.

This particular crime will be punished, in part because of its commercial ramifications:

An innocent bystander’s coat sleeve was grazed by a stray bullet, but the person was uninjured, Hodges said.

It is one thing if gangbangers shoot one another–it has happened before at the Mall–but if they start hitting random shoppers, there will be serious consequences.

Yesterday’s shooting got some national attention, in part because some New York Giant football players, in town to play the Vikings, were at the Mall during the incident:

Giants radio play-by-play announcer Bob Papa and some Giants players escaped a Mall of America shooting on Friday night in Bloomington, Minn. No players were believed to be in the vicinity of the shooting.
A 19-year-old man was killed during the shooting, according to police, and the mall was locked down for more than an hour. The Giants are staying in a hotel adjacent to the massive mall complex.

When the incident occurred, Jerry Meade, the Giants’ vice president of security, and the team’s security group sent out an alert to let people know there was an incident in the mall and to stay in the hotel or shelter in place. For those already in the mall, they were asked to text Meade their location so those individuals could be found and retrieved by Giants security personnel, with assistance from the Bloomington Police Department, once it was safe to do so.

One of these days, New Yorkers will conclude that Minnesota is a dangerous place to visit.

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