BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — For the first time, we are seeing what happened just before two men were stabbed inside a Macy’s store at the Mall of America.
Twenty-year-old Mahad Abdiraham was sentenced to 15 years in prison for stabbing two brothers outside a dressing room last fall. Both men survived, but suffered serious injuries and permanent scarring.
On Monday afternoon, Bloomington police released pictures taken from the scene and other evidence. Transcripts released from that night show a dozen people called 911 from inside the Macy’s store. Some of the callers are frantic, saying they are hiding from a man with a knife. One of them tells a dispatcher that multiple people have been stabbed.
Nineteen-year-old Alex Sanchez was the first victim. He told police he was shopping with his family and came out of a dressing room to find a man holding a knife. Abdiraham stabbed and slashed Sanchez in the face and torso with an 8-inch kitchen knife. Sanchez’s brother, John, helped subdue Abdiraham, but he too needed dozens of stitches for wounds to his back and hands.
“DETECTIVE — So where are you living? ABDIRAHAM- Minneapolis, Minnesota.”
Witnesses and officers described a chaotic scene, but Abdiraham was nonchalant during an interview with detectives.
“ABDIRAHAM — Can I…Can I be told my charges?”
“DETECTIVE — Uh yeah… you are booked under first-degree assault charges.”
Officers say before the attack, Macy’s surveillance video shows Abdiraham wearing a black backpack, which became one of several pieces of evidence in the case. At one point, Abdiraham can be seen buying a pair of black leather gloves, the same ones he wore during the attack.
They say security video also shows him walking past other stores before he enters Macy’s. But during his interview, he admits to nothing and asks for an attorney.
“ABDIRAHAM — Can I have a lawyer present?”
“DETECTIVE — Right now?”
“ABDIRAHAM — Yes.”
Alex Sanchez told police that it sounded like Abdiraham was praying while he was stabbing him. Sanchez suffered permanent scarring from the attack.
In court, Abdiraham pleaded guilty and said he was answering the call of Jihad, and that ISIS inspired him to attack that night.