Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.24.2022

Minnesota police have vowed to capture the suspect who brazenly gunned down a teenager inside the Mall of America on Friday (Dec. 23) evening.

KMSP-TV reported that officers heard shots fired around 7:50 p.m. from the first floor of Nordstrom. When they arrived at the store, they located the teenager who had been wounded multiple times. Life-saving measures were administered, but the 19-year-old was declared dead at the scene. A bystander was also grazed by a bullet but expected to be okay.

Gospel singer Jovonta Patton and his wife Symone were inside a shop recording a reel when they heard the shots. In the footage, Jovonta and Symone ran into the backroom with a clerk, where they huddled for safety with other employees. Police say an altercation between five to nine people escalated into gunshots. The entire ordeal lasted about 30 seconds. Despite a mall lockdown being enforced immediately after the shooting, a suspect and potential accomplices were not located. The mega-retail complex boasts four levels, more than 500 stores, upwards of 50 dining options, a theme park, an aquarium and several other attractions. According to the Mall of America’s site, more than 40 million people walk through its doors annually.

Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said, “This is just stupid, stupid, stupid,” during a press conference held after mall occupants were evacuated. He continued, “Whoever did this, we will catch them, and whoever helps them, we will lock you up. We are going to catch you, we are going to lock you up, and you are going to get an orange jumpsuit. It’s just a matter of when it’s going to happen.” On Saturday (Dec. 24), all of the mall’s shops, sans Nordstrom, reopened for business. Hodges is expected to hold a second press conference this evening with the latest updates.

You can view Jovonta Patton’s footage below.

 

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