Malls. These crowded, overpriced, germy rat mazes are my least favorite place to visit – not to mention, the overwhelming majority of them prohibit weapons.
But this is why I carry.
The Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, MN was the scene of a frightening attack shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday night. Authorities were called to the scene when witnesses reported an individual was stabbing people with a knife.
Ashley Bayne works at the J.C. Penney store in the mall. She was off Saturday night, but was visiting a friend at the store when the incident took place.
“I went closer to the mall entrance by J.C. Penney’s and I was looking at some jeans and all the sudden people were just running in chaos,” Bayne said. “They were screaming, ‘Someone’s stabbing people in the mall,’ and people were just really frantic and were running.”
It was unclear how many people were stabbed or what the extent of their injuries was.
“There were so many cop cars just responding to the area,” Bayne said.
“When I got in my car to get out people were speeding out of there,” she said. “By the time I left my coworker had texted me saying they had all gone into lockdown in the mall. There were no notifications in the mall at all, it was just people running and screaming.”
Police confirmed there are multiple victims with stab wounds and that the suspect is dead at the scene.
Any mall in America would be a horrific place to find yourself without the means of self defense, but this story truly puts it into perspective. Just one armed citizen could have ended this attacker’s rampage before they had the opportunity to move on to their next victim.
As my daughter says, “It’s not a gun-free zone if you’re there, mom.”
Bless her heart.