BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (FOX 9) – Three times in the past year, shots were fired at the Mall of America, sending shoppers and staff members running for cover. FOX 9 checked in with shoppers and asked the mall about its security plan ahead of time.
Nordstrom reopens three days after Bloomington police responded to gunshots on the first floor. Shoppers on Monday noticed some changes.
“A lot more agents at the entrance and tickets to the stores,” said shopper Darius Wesley-Brubeck.
In the past year, the Mall of America has had four gun incidents with shots fired three times. The first incident was on New Year’s Eve 2021 when a single bullet hit two people. At the time, a mall spokesman reassured holiday shoppers during a news conference.
“We have extensive video surveillance. We have state-of-the-art equipment, and we have security officers who are trained exclusively in this area. They are professionals and will work closely with Bloomington police investigators to make sure we find all the tests,” Mall of America spokesman Dan Jasper said during a press conference on Dec. 31, 2021.
Then, in August, shots rang out at the Nike store. Speaking at another press conference on August 4, Jasper told shoppers the mall has been open for 30 years and has an “amazing safety record.”
“Guests will expect to see an increased presence from both Mall of America security and our law enforcement partners,” Jasper said during an Aug. 4 news conference.
The third shooting incident was Friday, when Bloomington police said a shooting at Nordstrom left a 19-year-old man dead.
On Monday, the mall declined an interview request from FOX 9. A spokesperson for the mall sent the following statement:
In coordination with the Bloomington Police Department, additional security resources have been put in place that are both visible and invisible to guests. Our security team works very closely with the Bloomington Police, who are on site. The mall has industry-leading programs and practices with its extensive camera system and a highly trained security department with specialized units such as K9, bicycle patrol and plainclothes officers. Mall of America is a unique property and we take the safety of our guests, team members and tenants very seriously.
FOX 9 specifically asked mall officials if the mall is still testing metal detectors, as we reported in October. However, a spokesperson would only say: “We are still in the testing phase of multiple security measures.”
However, shoppers, they told FOX 9, would like to see permanent metal detectors.
“It would make me feel more confident, especially with what’s happened this year,” said shopper Nazim Guechida. “Just for safety, especially for gun safety, to make everybody safer, to make the community safer.”
“(I’m) 100 percent for it. It’s better to be prepared before it happens than after it happens,” Wesley-Brubeck said.