Susan Nally said she and her husband arrived at the mall at about 4 p.m. on Monday to return an item and do a little shopping.
The Mall of America was “jam packed,” she said, and many of the people were “rough, gangster-looking.”
After she and her husband got some coffee, an alarm sounded and an announcement said the mall was being locked down and shoppers were urged to take refuge in stores, Nally said.
She was at the entrance to Nordstroms when a massive group of more than 200 people came running through, knocking into others, screaming and acting unruly.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Nally said. “They were acting insane. It was a mob.”
“Did I feel threatened? Yeah, I felt threatened.”
Several workers at the mall on Monday told her it was a “weird” crowd. The Star Tribune reported that Mall of America officials and Bloomington police are investigating whether rumors of rap stars performing at the mall, fueled by social media, contributed to Monday’s fight.
Still, the reports from major media outlets understated the severity of the incident, Nally said. “It doesn’t really do it justice.”
Nally said she often goes to the Mall of America and has never felt concerned for her safety. Her first thought after the alarm sounded was that there had been a shooting.
When people started running and screaming, “I thought somebody must have had a gun,” Nally said.
“People were scared. The workers were scared, the shoppers there,” she said.
Her husband, too, was “shocked” by what happened, Nally said.
Incidents similar to those shown in Youtube videos were "going on all over the mall,” she said.
Nally and her husband stayed in a scrapbooking store for about an hour. “Until all the mayhem cleared out and we could leave.”
She spoke with two teenagers from Japan while at the mall and said she was saddened that their impression of Minnesota might be sullied by the melee.
“It’s a sad moment for the state,” Nally said. “It makes you wonder what the future holds after seeing those teenagers.”