Safety questions linger as Mall of America reopens Friday morning after Thursday's shooting

BLOOMINGTON, MN - DECEMBER 23: A police officer looks down into the rotunda of the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, observing the planned Black Lives Matter demonstration on December 23, 2015 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis staged a brief protest at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN before moving their protest to the airport.
Photo credit (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Mall of America guests that fled the mall when gunfire rang out on Thursday afternoon are being asked to return Friday and claim any belongings they may have left behind.

Officials announced Thursday night that doors would reopen Friday at 10 a.m. less than 24 hours after police say someone fired at least three shots from a handgun into the Nike store on the mall's second level.

"Video from the incident shows two groups of people get in some sort of altercation at the cash register in the Nike store," Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said late Thursday night. "One of the groups left after the altercation, but instead of walking away, they decided to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for human life."

No one was hit by the gunfire. Police responded to the Best Western across the street from the Mall of America on a report that the two suspects were there, but they did not find them.

Hodges urged the suspects to turn themselves in.

"Please turn yourselves in," he said. "If you choose not to, our officers, our partners, and our detectives will not stop until we lock you up. We cannot continue to have this disregard for human life."

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Thursday's shooting at the Mall of America marked the second shooting in the last eight months.

Two people were injured in a shooting last December. Hodges said Thursday that he believes the mall continues to be one of the safest places to visit.

"I bring my kids to the mall all of the time and I would not do that if I did not think this place is safe. I will continue to do that."

According to Mall of America Security, their team includes bike patrol, K9 units, special operations plain clothes officers, a state-of-the-art dispatch center, Parental Escort Policy, crisis planning + lockdown drills. They also partner with state, local, and federal officials.

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