The suspect was shot and killed at the scene

By Blake Bakkila
Updated September 18, 2016 12:20 PM
Credit: Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP

Eight people were injured in a stabbing attack at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Saturday night, according to multiple reports. The suspect was reportedly shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson gave a press conference shortly after the attack, and said eight people were taken to a local hospital, according to the Associate Press. Seven of the victims were treated and released, and one victim was admitted with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the St. Cloud Times.

According to the AP, Anderson also said the suspect – who was wearing a private security uniform – referred to Allah at least once and asked at least one person if they were Muslim before attacking them.

The shooting took place inside the Macy’s department store at Crossroads Center mall, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis told the St. Cloud Times.

During the press conference, Anderson said he would not refer to the attack as an act of terrorism and said the motive had not been determined. Similar to Anderson’s response, Minnesota FBI spokesman Kyle Loven declined to say if investigators believed this was an act of terrorism, according to the AP.

But Sunday morning, the AP reported that an Islamic State group-run news agency claimed the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State.”

Anderson ended the press conference on Saturday with a message about how he planned to respond to this attack.

“It’s an awful day,” he said. “We’ve got eight victims that were assaulted here in our mall. And so, guess what? Starting tomorrow, things won’t be the same here.”

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One mall-goer described the chaotic scene.

“I saw this security guard sprinting down the hallway toward Target,” Sydney Weires told the St. Cloud Times. “He was yelling, ‘Call the cops! Call the cops! … One guy was bleeding from the side of his face. He was screaming at us, ‘Get the F out!’ ”

The police department is preparing a press release, but no one was available to provide a comment.