MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) Isaiah Mordal and his girlfriend, Johanna Bohnenkamp, can’t understand why some people are filled with so much hatred. They also can’t understand why a young man with so much life ahead would cause harm to complete strangers.
“You don’t expect something like that from someone dressed in a uniform,” Mordal explained.
Mordal had just ended his mall job around 8 p.m. Saturday when Bohnenkamp, a soon-to-be-mother, was there at the southeast entrance to pick him up.
They were standing just outside the entrance door when a man appearing to be a security guard began his brutal but calculated attacks.
Bohnenkamp recalls: “I’ll never forget him like just pulling a knife on a woman, the first woman he stabbed is so unreal.”
The young couple couldn’t get away fast enough. Mordal was backed into a corner near the entrance door where he recalls begging for their lives. He can still hear his attacker’s mumbled words back to him.
The words convinced Mordal that this was an act of terror, influenced by radical Islamic terrorism.
“It sounded like the terrorist call, Allah Akbar, yea, whatever it is sounded like,” Mordal said. “That’s what it sounded like to me.”
Seconds later, Mordal felt the man’s knife blade plunge deep into his right shoulder. It missed his lung by less than an inch.
Bohnenkamp would be the next target, but luckily, she ducked just in time and took only a slight nick of the blade on the back of her neck.
“After I saw him go for her, knowing she’s pregnant, I instantly thought of how it would hurt to lose her and the child,” Mordal said.
Bleeding and shirtless, Mordal ran after his attacker, warning other mall shoppers, pleading for storekeepers to close their steel curtains.
“My whole back was covered in blood. It was down my leg and pants and into my shoes,” Mordal said.
Eventually, help arrived and paramedics placed the wounded Mordal onto a stretcher and transported him to the hospital. He says he can’t recall the sound of gunshots from the off duty police officer who ended the encounter.
Saturday night is still hard for Mordal and Bohnenkamp to understand.
“What was going through his mind that he wanted to do something like that?” Mordal said.
It’s a question that has yet to be answered.