A suspect is in custody after stabbing two victims at the Mall of America in Minnesota in an incident which police have described as “an interrupted theft,” as families with young children described watching chaos unfold as kids waited to see Santa Claus.
“My daughter could see people lying on the ground who had been stabbed,” mother Kim Schwieters told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She was with her three children waiting to see Santa when, at around 6:45 pm local time, the botched robbery began in the men’s department of Macy’s.
According to Bloomington Police officials, the suspect sneaked into the men’s room while the victims were modeling potential purchases for their friends. When they realized that the suspect was trying to make off with their belongings, the victims tried to stop him, but he brandished a knife.
Both men were stabbed before other shoppers were able to take the culprit down and subdue him until authorities could arrive. One victim was reportedly stabbed in the back, while the other suspect sustained numerous knife wounds in the scuffle.
“We saw two cops running toward Macy’s” Schwieters recalled. “By the time we got to the main area – the men’s department is to the right – more police started running in with their guns drawn.”
She says that another customer who witnessed the fight noticed the suspect speaking and yelling to himself erratically.
“He saw the man walking through before, talking to himself, really really loudly talking to himself. Kind of drew attention to himself,” Schwieters said.
The victims were taken to the nearby Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.