|People stand near one of the entrances to the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota|
The stabbing at this Minnesota Mall was roughly simultaneous with the bombing in New York. There were also three pipe bombs discovered earlier this morning at the scene of a 5K race in New Jersey.
This Muslim connection was announced almost five hours after the event.
From KSTP (ABC5) in St. Paul, Minnesota (12:44 AM CST):
Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud will remain closed through Sunday as police investigate a stabbing that left eight people injured and the suspect dead.
"At approximately 8 p.m., an armed suspect entered the Crossroads Mall. That individual made some references to Allah and we confirmed that he asked at least one person if they were Muslim before assaulting them," said St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson.
According to authorities, the suspect was later shot by an off-duty police officer. Investigators say the suspect was carrying at least one knife.
Of the eight victims, one was admitted to the hospital. Investigators say the injuries were not life threatening.
Police believe the suspect acted alone.
"Right now we don't have any information that would indicate that anyone else is involved," said Anderson.
The mall will remain closed through Sunday as investigators continue multiple crime scenes within the building.
"Right now, the entire mall is an active crime scene," said Anderson.
Harley and Tama Exsted of Isle, Minnesota, who were in St. Cloud to watch their son play in a college golf tournament, were in the mall when the incident occurred.
"All of a sudden I heard pop pop pop," Harley Exsted told the St. Cloud Times.
"I thought someone tipped over a shelf. All of a sudden these people started running. I just saw everybody running our way."