St. Cloud mall attack raises more questions about gun-free zones

Nearly 48 hours later, new facts continue to filter out of St. Cloud on the investigation into what may be Minnesota’s first “lone-wolf” terrorist attack. So far no evidence has surfaced to back up Isis’ claim of involvement.  But after closer scrutiny of the security surveillance footage,  it turns out there’s a tenth victim of Dahir Adan’s stabbing rampage. The 21 year old St. Cloud man did not seek medical attention and did not report his injuries to authorities.

Jason Falconer, the off-duty policeman who shot the perpetrator dead and prevented a likely bloodbath, has also kept a low profile. But that didn’t stop his superiors from praising him today.

Meanwhile, Avon Police Chief Corey Nellis credited “divine intervention” with putting one of his most experienced officers — a part-time member of the small-town department who also owns a firing range and training facility — at the Crossroads Center mall Saturday night just as a man with a knife began attacking shoppers.

“I am very proud of Officer [Jason] Falconer’s heroic actions in confronting the perpetrator of the stabbing assaults,” Nellis told reporters Monday morning at a news conference at Avon City Hall.

“Officer Falconer put himself in harm’s way to protect the public from a man who had already stabbed nine victims and would have very likely harmed more people, had [he]not acted so quickly.”

Yet questions continued to surface over whether the popular Crossroads shopping mall where the knife attack occurred is a gun-free zone. Some reports noted that the mall’s online conduct policy prohibits the possession of both “firearms and illegal weapons” like the knife Aden used to slash shoppers. Apparently Aden didn’t find a need to comply.

 There are no reports on whether there were any concealed carry permit holders who were present when the attack occurred but were unable to defend themselves due to mall policy. However, the attack was stopped by an off-duty officer who carried his gun with him, the “gun free” policy notwithstanding.

…“Gun free zones” are a target of choice for mass public attackers and terrorists alike. The Orlando Pulse nightclub (June 12, 2016), the San Bernardino county building (December 2, 2015), Umpqua Community College (October 1, 2015), the Lafayette movie theater (July 23, 2015), Fort Hood (April 2, 2014), the DC Navy Yard (September 16, 2013), Sandy Hook Elementary School (December 14, 2012), the Aurora movie theater (July 20, 2012), and Virginia Tech (April 16, 2007) were all “gun free zones” and were attacked for a massive loss of innocent life.

Turns out there is a sign posted “All Weapons Prohibited on Premises” after all at the St. Cloud mall, but it’s no easy task to find it. Dan Ochsner, a KNSI talk radio host, tracked it down at our request, off to the side at the food court entrance.


“It is posted but it’s the only sign and I went to a couple of other entrances and couldn’t find signs at the other entrances,” Ochsner said. “It was clear, they have that sign off to the side, they do not promote it. That is my take on it. They post the sign out of some obligatory reason for who knows what reason, either for insurance purposes. They certainly do not seem to be pushing it at all.”

But does it really matter? Minnesotans with concealed carry permits can legally take their weapons into most gun-free zones. But if the property owner finds out and asks them to leave, they have to comply. The penalty of a petty misdemeanor appears to be worth the risk in this case.