After deadly shooting, what is Mall of America’s safety plan going forward?
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (FOX 9) - Three times over the last year, shots rang out in the Mall of America, sending shoppers and staff members running for cover. FOX 9 checked in with shoppers and asked the mall about its safety plan going forward.
Nordstrom is back open three days after Bloomington police responded to the sound of gunshots on the first floor. Shoppers on Monday noticed some changes.
"A lot more officers at the entrance and entrances to stores," said shopper Darius Wesley-Brubeck.
In the last year, the Mall of America has had four incidents involving guns with shots fired three times. The first incident was on New Year's Eve in 2021 when a single bullet hit two people. At the time, a mall spokesperson 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 train exclusively in that area. They are professionals, and they will work closely with the Bloomington police investigators to make sure that we find all evidence," said Dan Jasper, a spokesperson for the Mall of America, during a news conference on Dec. 31, 2021.
Then in August, shots rang out at the Nike store. Jasper spoke at another news conference on Aug. 4, telling shoppers the mall's been open for 30 years and has an "incredible safety record."
"Guests will expect to see an increased presence of both Mall of America security and our partners in law enforcement," said Jasper during a news conference on Aug. 4.
The third incident of shots being fired was Friday, when Bloomington police said the shooting at Nordstrom left a 19-year-old man dead.
On Monday, the mall declined FOX 9's request for an interview. A mall spokesperson sent the following statement:
In coordination with the Bloomington Police Department, additional security resources have been put into place that are both visible and nonvisible to guests. Our security team works very closely with Bloomington Police, who are onsite. The Mall has industry-leading programs and practices with its extensive system of cameras and highly trained security department with specialized units including K9, bike patrol, and plain clothes officers. Mall of America is a unique property, and we take the safety and security of our guests, team members, and tenants very seriously.
FOX 9 specifically asked mall officials whether the mall is still testing metal detectors, as we reported back in October. However, a spokesperson would only say, "We are still in the testing phase of multiple security measures."
Shoppers though, told FOX 9, they would like to see metal detectors on a permanent basis.
"It'd make me feel safer, especially with what's been happening this year," said shopper Nazim Guechida. "Just for safety, gun safety especially – for everyone to be safer, for the community to be safer."
"(I’m) 100% for it. It's better to be ready before it happens than after it happens," Wesley-Brubeck said.