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9 stabbed, suspect dead in Minnesota mall attack

The suspect is dead after stabbing nine people Saturday night at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, police said.

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According to KTSP, an off-duty police officer, Jason Falconer, fatally shot the suspect in the Crossroads Center stabbing, reported just after 8 p.m. The suspect mentioned Allah during the attack, WCCO reported.

The victims were seven men, a woman and a 15-year-old girl. One victim was admitted to the hospital, and the others had non-life-threatening injuries, the St. Cloud Times reported

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Forever 21 employee Vivian Woods told the Times that staffers helped one of the victims.

"I started crying," Woods said. "That was hard for me to swallow. It's hard to fathom this happened here at this mall."

Authorities said the suspect was a man dressed as a security guard. He reportedly mentioned Allah and asked if a victim was Muslim before attacking.

"We do know that he was wearing a private security uniform," said St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson. "We're in the process right now of trying to figure out if he in fact worked for a private security company or if he worked for one previously."

The Islamic State group has said that the attacker was a part of the group, saying he was a "soldier of the Islamic State," but it's unclear if the group planned or even knew of the attack ahead of time.

In a media release, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) described the attacker as a "young Somali man in his mid 20s who worked as a security guard (not at the mall) and was a college student," Buzzfeed News reported. The suspect's family said he didn't have mental health problems but that he had been complaining of insomnia, according to CAIR.

"I am appalled at the terrible attacks on innocent Minnesotans in St. Cloud last night," Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement. "If true that they were motivated by religious bigotry, I condemn them even more strongly. There is no place in Minnesota for intolerance of all Americans' constitutional right to worship according to their beliefs."

Sunday afternoon, Minnesota's Star Tribute  and the St. Cloud Times reported that the suspect's father, Ahmed Adan, identified him as Dahir A. Adan, 22, a student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. Ahmed Adan said that his son was born in Africa and had lived in the United States for 15 years, the Tribune reported.

Law enforcement has yet to confirm the name of the suspect.

An investigation into the attack is underway. Rick Thornton, an FBI official, said the incident is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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