Police sounded the all-clear at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud on Thursday night, less than two hours after a couple reported that a man had displayed a weapon.
Squad cars and police vehicles converged on the shopping center about 6:20 p.m., after the initial report of a suspect with a gun. The mall was put on lockdown, and shoppers and employees were told to leave.
Shortly after 7 p.m., St. Cloud police Sgt. Jason Burke said in a news release that ““Initial information is that a male and female were in an argument outside the mall by the food court. During the argument, two males unknown to them approached, one of the males lifted the front of his shirt and showed the couple a gun in his waistband. The gun was not pointed at the couple, no threats were made, and no injuries have been reported.
“Both males were last seen entering the food court in the mall,” Burke wrote. “As a precautionary measure, and for the safety of mall patrons, officers are searching the mall for both males.”
At 8 p.m., Waite Park Police Chief David Bentrud said no shots were fired, no one was hurt and everyone in the mall was fine.
“We believe the two individuals are gone,” he said. “We believe we know who they are and will be following up with them tomorrow.”
The mall was closed but will resume normal hours on Friday, the chief said. On Thursday night, officers were doing a walk-through and asking any remaining people to leave through a secured exit “just as a precaution,” the chief said.
Bentrud said the incident was still an “active investigation.” He said he doesn’t know if the two men had previous contact with police but “We believe we’ve established who they are.”
The couple that reported the gun didn’t know the men and weren’t hurt, he reiterated.
Crossroads was the site of a terror-filled knife attack the night of Sept. 17, when Dahir Adan, dressed in a security guard’s uniform, attacked 10 people. He was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer about an hour after the attacks began. All of his victims survived.