Bloomington police arrest man suspected of robbing a Mall of America store with a rifle

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Bloomington police say they arrested one man suspected of carrying a rifle into the Mall of America and robbing a Lids store on Friday.

A news release from the Bloomington Police Department says Mall of America security contacted officers to report a man, later determined to be 28-year-old Cartier Troy Alexander, of Woodbury had entered the mall with a rifle.

Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges held a news conference Friday afternoon giving further details on the incident.

Chief Hodges said that just after noon on Friday, a witness called security to report a man was walking around the Mall of America with a rifle. MOA security teams then followed that man on camera as he walked through the hallway. At some point, Alexander stole a toy from a nearby kiosk and then walked into a Lids store on the southeast side of the third floor of the mall.

Chief Hodges said that a lockdown was not called in order to avoid “escalating the situation.”

Once inside Lids, Hodges reportedly pulled out the rifle and demanded that jerseys from the store be put into a bag. He then exited the store and was “tackled” by guards from a mall security team, according to Hodges. The hallway in front of Lids was reportedly cleared by security when Alexander entered the store.

Bloomington police officers arrived and then took Alexander, who was carrying an AR-15 style rifle, into custody. Chief Hodges said that the rifle was visibly out at Alexander’s side, but that most people in the mall were oblivious.

Alexander was reportedly in custody within eight minutes of the initial call.

No injuries were reported.

Police said in a news release that a vehicle associated with Alexander was found in the mall parking ramp. A search warrant for the vehicle is pending.

Investigators believe that Alexander had also committed a robbery at Twin City Pawn in Minneapolis earlier on Friday.

He is currently in Bloomington police custody and is facing armed robbery charges.

Alexander does not have any criminal history besides traffic violations and has a valid permit to carry.

This is a developing story. Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS for the latest.