Knife wielding attacker goes on rampage and according to witnesses, asked victims their religion before stabbing them.
ST. CLOUD, MN- The city of St. Cloud, Minnesota is looking for answers after a man stabbed multiple people at Crossroads Mall before he was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.
Last night, attacks riddled the country. Around 9pm CST, news outlets reported a bombing in New York City, a Pipe Bomb explosion at a Marine 5K run in New Jersey, and a confirmed terrorist attack in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
In a press conference this afternoon, the Mayor of St. Cloud, an FBI agent, and St. Cloud law enforcement laid out the facts for members of the media.
At approximately 8:30P, an unidentified man walked into Crossroads Center and began to stab several individuals in the mall. Eyewitness reports on Twitter show that the attack took place in several stores. Eyewitness reports state that the man asked at least one of his victims of their religion and mentioned “Allah.” He stabbed 9 people.
BREAKING: St. Cloud mall stabbing attack suspect referenced Allah during attack, asked at least 1 victim if they were Muslim before assault
— Steve Tellier KSTP (@stellierkstp) September 18, 2016
The attacker was seen wearing the uniform of a private security firm. An off-duty police officer confronted the man during the attack and shot and killed him.
The Mayor of St. Cloud identified the off-duty police officer as Officer Jason Faulkner, former Chief of Police of the Albany Police Force and now a part-time officer from the Avon Police Department.
Rick Thorton, an FBI Agent from Minneapolis, stated that the “FBI is currently investigating this as a potential act of terrorism. We don’t who he was in contact with or inspired by.”
At this time, law enforcement will not be announcing the name of the perpetrator or the victims. Members of law enforcement did not mention race, religion, or the claims of terrorism.
Republican Congressman Tom Emmer, whose district includes St. Cloud shared this statement on his Facebook Page.
Congressman Emmer is the only official to have publically discussed how radical Islam may have played a role in this attack.
Early this morning, the terrorist organization known as ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack calling the suspect an ISIS soldier.
ISIS has just claimed credit for the stabbing of 8 people at a Minnesota mall. Silence regarding NY explosions: pic.twitter.com/brGRbtEu5P
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) September 18, 2016
St. Cloud has become a major resettlement place for members of the middle eastern community in recent years. Late last year, Alpha News reported on the contentions between Governor Mark Dayton and the people of St. Cloud who were not comfortable with the refugee resettlement program. Governor Dayton told members of the community who were not comfortable with the decision that they “should find another state.” The St. Cloud Times reports that there are about 950-1900 Somali-Americans living in St. Cloud.
Over the summer, Alpha News also reported on an Islamaphobia conference in St. Cloud. Headlining the event was U.S. Attorney for the State of Minnesota, Andrew Luger.
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