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Teen Shot Dead at Largest Shopping Mall in the Country

A teenager was shot and killed, and another person was grazed by a bullet Friday at the Mall of America in Minnesota as shoppers were scouring for last-minute gifts ahead of the Christmas holiday, FOX 9 reports.

Around 7:50 p.m., gunshots were fired on the first floor of the Nordstrom department store, which is connected to the mall, the largest shopping center in the country. Police officers who responded to the gunshots found multiple bullets struck a male. First responders attempted to save the man’s life, but he died at the scene.

Authorities described the victim as a 19-year-old male. His identity has not been released, and police were working to identify the person who fired the weapon.

A bullet also grazed a bystander who happened to be near the shooting. That person is expected to survive.

Preliminary investigation indicates there was some dispute involving two groups of males. Security cameras showed a male pulling a gun and shooting the victim, according to CNN.

In a press conference Friday night, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges expressed exasperation at what happened.

“This is just stupid, stupid, stupid. Whoever did this, we will catch them. And whoever helps them, we will lock you up, too,” Hodges told reporters, according to FOX 9

He added: “We have an incident where if someone decides that they want to pull out a gun and shoot somebody with complete lack of disrespect for human life, I still don’t know what we can do to stop that.”

Hodges told those responsible that they would be held accountable.

“We are going catch you, we are going lock you up and you are going to get an orange jumpsuit. It’s just a matter of when it’s going to happen,” Hodges told reporters, according to FOX 9.

“If anybody helps these people . . . we are going to lock you up with them.”

The shooting prompted authorities to lockdown the facility for a short time. After the lockdown was lifted, patrons were evacuated and the mall was closed.

Video posted to social media captured the sounds of the gunfire followed by screams and shoppers frantically taking cover. “Oh my God,” one woman said. “Oh my God.”

A massive law enforcement response followed, according to images on social media.

Police earlier this year responded to a previous shooting at the mall that also resulted in injuries, according to KSTP-TV.

The Mall of America is located about 10 miles south of downtown Minneapolis near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The facility has upwards of 500 stores, numerous restaurants and various attractions, in addition to two hotels.

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