Security at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, confirmed the mall lockdown will be lifted after an "active incident inside" the mall forced security personnel to ask patrons to exit immediately while police were dispatched. The Mall of America described the incident as "isolated," occurring in a "tenant space."
Mall of America sent a notice out on Twitter at around 8 p.m. ET writing, "Mall of America is now lifting the lockdown. Guests on Level 2 are being asked to wait for an escort from Mall personnel. All other guests should now exit property. The North entrance is closed at this time. Mall of America will remain closed for the rest of the evening."
Bloomington Police held a news conference on Thursday evening confirming shots were fired inside the mall, and police were able to secure the scene at around 5:40 p.m. local time after the suspect fled the area, KSTP reported. There were no victims immediately found by police, according to authorities.
Security had previously advised patrons of the mall to remain in a secure location until thelockdown was lifted.
Bloomington Police were on the scene late Thursday afternoon after videos posted to social media showed people at the mall fleeing to safety, appearing to be confused about why crowds were running.
The Mall of America replied to one Twitter user late on Thursday afternoon writing, "Mall of America is currently under lockdown. Please stay where you are until the lockdown is lifted."
Bloomington Police released a statement on Twitter just before 6 p.m ET writing, "We are currently working an active incident inside Mall of America on the northwest side. Numerous officers are on scene. We will update when we have more information."
Videos shared to social media Thursday showed chaos inside of the mall and near the parking decks as patrons fled, with many looking back in disbelief appearing to be confused as to why crowds were running for exits.
Chaos and confusion at @mallofamerica. Making people go outside. #mallofamerica pic.twitter.com/NzMvI7iK6m— Andy Paras (@AndyParas) August 4, 2022
One Twitter user posted this video as they witnessed patrons of the mall running out of emergency exits as they say they witnessed cars of police enter the mall grounds.
People running out emergency doors from @mallofamerica. Police swarming the mall. #mallofamerica pic.twitter.com/IQqysLfahq— Jason Ronimous (@jwronimous) August 4, 2022
Mall of America security was initially only able to confirm that an "incident" had occurred and that security was working with Bloomington Police to "gather more information" on the security situation. Still, the mall was put on lockdown and people were told to exit immediately. The mall was later closed down for the evening.
A Twitter user shared a video showing police carrying rifles in the mall.
Cops with rifles taking position. Mall PA system telling people to take shelter. Meanwhile several people are walking in unaware of what’s happening. #mallofamerica pic.twitter.com/u24BxFGJh1— Andy Paras (@AndyParas) August 4, 2022