An 18-year-old St. Paul man was charged Thursday on suspicion that he shot and wounded two people in the Mall of America on New Year's Eve.
Kahlil M. Wiley was charged in Hennepin County District Court with two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the gunfire late afternoon Dec. 31 on the third floor of the vast mall in Bloomington.
Wiley remained jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail ahead of a Friday afternoon court appearance. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
A second person who was arrested and implicated in the shooting was released from jail Wednesday without being charged after the County Attorney's Office said it had insufficient evidence to pursue a case against the 19-year-old St. Paul man.
Bloomington Deputy Police Chief Kimberly Clauson said police are not looking for any other suspects in the shooting, which occurred about 5 p.m. that day. Shoppers ran for cover, and the mall was put on lockdown for roughly 45 minutes.
"This kind of dangerous, brazen behavior caused the injury of two people," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement announcing the charges. "Given how crowded the mall was with patrons, including young children with their families, I am surprised and relieved there weren't more victims."
Freeman added that his office, should Wiley be convicted, will seek an upward departure from state sentencing guidelines "since Mr. Wiley fired a gun in the presence of children [and] due to the egregiousness of his actions."
According to the charges:
The victim with the leg wound told police from his HCMC hospital bed that he knew Wiley and was upset with him about an earlier incident.
The victim said he and a friend saw Wiley at the mall and started chasing him. Wiley turned, pulled out a handgun and fired once. The bullet first hit the victim's leg, ricocheted off a metal railing and then grazed the shoulder of a man nearby who prosecutors say had no known association with Wiley. He was treated by paramedics at the scene and did not require hospitalization.
Wiley was arrested Tuesday after leaving his home. The gun he allegedly fired at the mall was seized.
He told police that he ran several laps around the mall corridor looking for an exit and opened fire as his pursuer closed the gap. He said he bought the gun off the internet.
There have been three previous shootings at the Mall of America. The first was in December 1992, shortly after the mall opened, when an off-duty Minneapolis police officer fired four shots in a mall parking ramp after being ejected from a bar. The second came in February 1993, when three young men were arrested for wounding a worker and two others in what was then the Camp Snoopy amusement park; in response, the mall hired more security officers and increased security hours.
In January 1999, shots were exchanged in the mall by two groups in a confrontation, but no one was injured.