An off-duty police officer became a hero after saving countless mall customers from a knife-wielding terrorism suspect on Saturday.
The attack happened at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minn., at approximately 8:15 p.m., when 22-year-old Ahmed Adan, who was dressed as a security guard, started stabbing mall patrons.
Adan reportedly stabbed nine people before being confronted by Jason Falconer, an off-duty police officer, who eventually shot and killed the suspect.
At a press conference on Sunday, St. Cloud Mayor David Kleis said he believed that Falconer prevented additional injuries and saved lives.
“Clearly, he is a hero. Officer Falconer was there at the right time and the right place,” Kleis said.
Kleis confirmed that the final confrontation was captured by a Macy’s surveillance camera. The video has not yet been released, but Kleis described the attack, saying that Adan, who clearly had a knife in his hands, lunged at Falconer before being shot.
St. Cloud Police Chief Wm. Blair Anderson said that Falconer’s actions were appropriate in the situation.
“None of us ever want to have to do that but that’s what we’re here for, and Officer Falconer’s actions were swift and direct, and in my opinion appropriate,” Anderson said.
Anderson also said that the suspect made at least one reference to Allah and asked one person if they were Muslim.
As Rare previously reported, ISIS took responsibility for the attack, calling Adan a “soldier of the Islamic state.”