Man recalls when he heard shots fired inside Mall of America, police arrest 5 suspects

The cell phone video recorded by Jovonta Patton shows him and a friend at the Gucci store at Nordstrom, in the Mall of America.

Suddenly there is a disturbance, and the phone abruptly points to the ground.

“While she’s filming it, we hear gunshots,” Patton recalls. “What you see in the video has us all monitoring, and it’s all in real time, so it’s all our first response.”

Patton, a north Minneapolis man and father of three daughters, was at the Gucci store to film a social media post — and buy some gifts for his family.

He says he was in the middle of asking a friend if she saw a purse she liked – when a loud noise echoed through the store.

“That explosive sound was just like a boom, and then you heard screaming,” Patton says. “My first thought is – is there someone who is there to shoot as many people as possible. Let me get these women on the back, and so we go to the back of the Gucci store, which is fully secured.

Like hundreds of other shoppers, Patton and his friends sheltered in place during an hour-long lockdown.

Also Read :  Ryzen 7000 Mobile, RDNA 3 Laptops, Zen 4 X3D

Police say the shooting began around 8 p.m. after a fight broke out between a group of nine people inside the Nordstrom store.

Then, authorities say, someone pulled out a gun and shot and killed a 19-year-old man from the metro area.

“Yesterday was the first firearm-related homicide in the history of the Mall of America,” Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges told reporters.

Hodges says after an overnight investigation – on Saturday morning, police from several area departments, including SWAT officers from Edina and Minnetonka, served a search warrant in a St. three 17-year-old boys.

The 18-year-olds are identified as Taeshawn Wright and Deandre Depratto.

Because of their age, the 17-year-olds are considered juvenile suspects.

As such, their identities have not been released by authorities.

The chief says all five are likely to have their first court appearance on Tuesday.

She faces second-degree murder charges, Hodges said.

Also Read :  Angelo Babb explains the role cryptocurrency is taking in global trade

He adds that one of the two 18-year-olds is the accused shooter.

“We are really confident that we have the person responsible for killing the victim in custody,” he explained. “We believe this is some kind of long-standing dispute, something that’s been going on. But no one is cooperating with us right now.”

Over the past year, there have been several incidents involving weapons in the mall.

In August, shots were fired into a crowded Nike store.

No one was injured, and later several people were arrested.

Weeks later there was a standup at the Lids store when a man walked in and robbed the store with an AR-15 style rifle.

On New Year’s Eve 2021, the mall went into lockdown after two people were shot on the third floor.

Hodges says MOA has taken steps to address security concerns, including testing advanced security screenings at an entrance to check for weapons as shoppers enter the mall.

Shoppers who spoke to 5 EYEWITNES NEWS say they were saddened to hear about the loss of life Friday.

Also Read :  Dead by Daylight is coming to PUBG spin-off mobile game, New State Mobile

“Oh my God, it’s a tragedy, isn’t it,” said John Flor, of White Bear Lake. “Right before Christmas it’s terrible.”

We asked some people what they think about increased security measures such as metal detectors at shopping entrances.

“I’m a big proponent of the right to keep and bear arms, as long as it doesn’t hurt, I’d be happy with one,” says Flor. “But I’d like a longer dialogue than a gut reaction to a shot.”

“I think that would be putting a Band-Aid on a deep wound,” adds Barbara Gaasedlen, of Golden Valley. “I don’t think that’s really going to do much. If we start regulating guns more closely in society, then we can all facilitate a safer experience.”

Meanwhile, on this holiday weekend, Patton says he’s thinking about this 19-year-old and his family.

“My prayers are with the family. They need to bury their child,” he says quietly. “So my prayers are with them and also with all of us.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.