A man ran into a Minnesota mall Saturday night, where he stabbed nine people.
The attack occurred around 8 p.m. at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Eight victims were treated for non-life-threatening wounds and were later released.
One person was admitted to the hospital with more serious injuries but was reported to also have non-life-threatening injuries.
Initially officers reported a total of eight victims but one victim drove himself to the hospital later and was initially unknown to authorities.
After the stabbing, the suspect, who was wearing a private security uniform, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.
The St. Cloud Police Department reported the man made at least one reference to Allah during the attack and, before attacking one of the victims, asked if they were Muslim.
According to the Washington Post, a source told the Ameq Agency: “The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”
Despite the statement, St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson spoke at a news conference Saturday night to claim the attack was not an act of terrorism.
He claimed the suspect’s motives remain unknown then added: “I want everyone in St. Cloud to know we will be diligent and get to the bottom of this. Starting tomorrow, St. Cloud will not be the same anymore.”
The FBI is currently assisting St. Cloud Police in the investigation but Minnesota FBI spokesman Kyle Loven is refusing to comment further.
The St. Cloud Times reported the suspect has been named as Dahir Adan.
Leaders of the Somali-American community in St. Cloud gathered Sunday with his family to issue a statement to the family and victims of the attack.
Community leader Abdul Kulane claimed no one expected Adan to would snap. He had no history of violence and was known as an accomplished and intelligent student at Apollo High school.
He was a junior at St. Cloud State University and was a part-time private security officer.
Widnesses Sydney Weires, Jenna Remmele and Maggie Gelke explained they were walking toward Sears when they heard a scream.
“I saw this security guard sprinting down the hallway toward Target,” Weires explained. “He was yelling, ‘Call the cops! Call the cops!'”
The girls followed the guard, thinking he was chasing a shoplifter or kidnapper but when they caught up to him they said they saw two men.
“One guy was bleeding from the side of his face,” Weires recalled. “He was screaming at us, ‘get the F out!'”
The second man was bleeding from his back and Remmele said both “were just drenched” in their own blood.
“We don’t really know what to think,” Remmele stated. “Hearing the possibility of the number of people who could have been injured…it’s really scary.”
Danny Carranza was with his children at the mall’s play area when the attack occurred.
“People came running around the corner and I freaked out because I thought it was a terrorist attack or something because I saw a lot of people, so I grabbed my kids,” he said.
“I ran as much as I could and I heard someone yell, ‘Stop! Stop!’ As soon as the door shut I heard gunshots.”
Carranza said officers checked the identification of each person before they left the mall and locked it down.
The mall remains closed and is still considered an active crime scene.
By Kenya Sinclair