Chief Anderson: No Link Found Yet Between Mall Attacker and ISIS [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD - St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said in a news conference on Monday that authorities haven't yet found a connection between the Crossroads Mall attacker and the terror group ISIS.
"As I talk to you today, we have not uncovered anything that would suggest anything other than it was a lone attacker," Anderson says.
Nine people were hurt in Saturday's stabbing attack; all have since been treated at the hospital and released. The Islamic State group has claimed the attacker was one of its own, though it’s unclear if the group even knew of the attack ahead of time.
Anderson says so far, signs indicate that the mall attacker acted alone. He also doesn't believe the attack had any connection to the attacks in New York and New Jersey that also happened on Saturday. Anderson did stress that authorities are still in the early stages of their investigation.
Police still won't name or identify the attacker, but the Somali community identified Dahir Adan as the suspect over the weekend. Officials said he was dressed as a security guard when he stabbed people Saturday.
A motive has not been found.
"We spoke with our East African leaders yesterday, they did express their concerns and their fears. As sad as that is, it didn't surprise me," Anderson says.
The comments came after Governor Mark Dayton spoke at the news conference after meeting with St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis and other city officials to discuss the Crossroads Mall attack. The meeting lasted for about an hour. Kleis and Dayton both emphasized working with different groups in the community to create unity.
"I implore the citizens of St. Cloud and really citizens throughout Minnesota to rise above this tragic incident and to remember our common humanity and shared citizenship," Dayton says.
Dayton says President Barack Obama called him on Monday morning and that the President was briefed on the Saturday attack.
"He expressed his concern for what had happened. He offered whatever assistance we would need from anyone in the federal government, which we will take advantage of as needed," Dayton says.
Kleis says it's been a trying time for the city and that he has tremendous respect for the off-duty officer who shot and killed the attacker. Officer Jason Falconer, a part time officer with the Avon Police Department, has been identified as the off duty officer that killed the man.
Avon Police Chief Corey Nellis said at a news conference that Falconer "was the person who needed to be there." Falconer was shopping at Crossroads Center on Saturday night when he shot a man who stabbed nine people and then lunged at Falconer with a knife.
Falconer owns a firing range and is the firearms instructor for the city of Avon. Nellis said: "If I was going to ask anybody to fire ... live rounds in a crowded mall, I would trust his abilities next to anybody's."
-This story was written with information from the Associated Press-