A knifeman dressed as a security guard and chanting references to Allah stabbed eight people when he went on the rampage at a shopping centre. The attacker, who asked victims if they were Muslim or not before stabbing them, was shot dead by an off-duty police officer. None of those stabbed were thought to have life-threatening injuries. Blair Anderson, the police chief in the Minnesota city of St Cloud, emphasised that the assailant’s motivation remained unclear. He added: “Whether that was a terrorist attack or not, I’m not willing to say that right now because we just don’t know.”
We will be diligent and get to the bottom of this. Starting tomorrow, things won’t be the same here
Police chief Blair Anderson
Witnesses have told how panic broke out in the Crossroads Center as the attacker struck shortly after 8pm on Saturday. “I was looking at some jeans and all the sudden people were just running in chaos,” said shop worker Ashley Bayne. “They were screaming, ‘Someone’s stabbing people in the mall,’ and people were just really frantic and were running.” The centre remained on lockdown following the incident with groups of shoppers waiting to be released for some hours afterwards. Mr Anderson said the suspect had a history of minor traffic violations but police did not have reason to believe the attack was connected to any other incident, including a bombing in New York.
All of a sudden I heard pop, pop, pop. I thought someone tipped over a shelf. All of a sudden these people started running. I just saw everybody running our way.
Witness Harley Exsted