Man Charged with Assault in Stabbings at MOA Macy's

November 14, 2017 06:52 PM

The man accused of stabbing two men in a Macy's dressing room at Mall of America Sunday evening has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault.

Twenty-year-old Mahad Abdiaziz Abdiraham was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County. 


Police responding to a report of a stabbing at the Mall of America Macy's store on Sunday arrived to find "a chaotic scene with a lot of blood" about 6:45 p.m., according to the criminal complaint. 

RELATED: Mall of America Stabbing Victims are 2 Brothers from Minneapolis

The complaint provides new details into the stabbing of two brothers that locked down the department store shortly before closing time Sunday, including that Abdiraham had purchased a pair of gloves at the store that he wore during the assault. It also says Abdiraham was arrested in 2016 for stabbing two staff members of an in-patient psychiatric unit with a pen. He was acquitted in that case in June of this year due to mental illness, court records show.

The complaint says the two men stabbed were with seven other family members on a shopping trip to the mall. One of the brothers, 19-year-old Alexander Sanchez, of Minneapolis, had tried on pants in a men's department fitting room and left the room to show his family how the pants fit. 

When he returned to the dressing room, he found a man later identified as Abdiraham standing outside the door to the room as if he were considering going inside. Sanchez went back into the fitting room, changed clothes and made to leave, the complaint says.

In exiting the room, he again found Abdiraham, this time brandishing a large knife. Sanchez tried to push past him, but Abdiraham "began slashing and cutting" at the victim, including across his face, head and the backs of his arms, according to the complaint. Some of those cuts went to the bone.

RELATED: 2 Stabbed During Robbery Attempt at Mall of America Macy's Store; Man in Custody

Upon hearing Alexander Sanchez's screams, his brother, 25-year-old John Sanchez, also of Minneapolis, and another family member came to his defense. In attempting to grab the knife from Abdiraham, John Sanchez sustained cuts to his hands and back, the complaint says. The Sanchez brothers and the third family member were able to subdue the attacker until police arrived.  

Alexander Sanchez later required a blood transfusion, and doctors say he could have permanent scarring to his head, according to the complaint. John Sanchez received 42 stitches to his back. 

Witnesses described and store security footage showed much of the fitting room and area outside of it covered in blood. 

When officers arrived, according to the complaint, they found Abdiraham lying face down "at the command of officers" and arrested him. They found the knife and estimated the blade at 8 inches long. 

Security footage showed Abdiraham's purchase of the gloves, and that he put them on before going into the dressing room prior to Alexander Sanchez's return. 

Abdiraham was expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office says. He faces a maximum 40 years in prison and/or $60,000 in fines. 


Michael Oakes

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