Authorities have identified a 19-year-old man who was shot dead in a Mall of America department store in Bloomington, Minnesota, on Friday as Johntae Raymon Hudson.
Hudson of Saint Paul died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” according to a statement from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
A statement on a GoFundMe page created by Hudson’s family described his positive attitude and caring nature.
“Johntae was the most loving and caring person to his family and friends. He radiated positive and fun energy and his smile lit up the room. Overall, he was a great person and we want to give him the funeral he deserves.”
Hudson’s family could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.
NBC affiliate KARE 11 from Minneapolis spoke with Hudson’s sister Ja’Nayea Hudson.
“He should go to the mall to find a sweater with his shoes to go to his friend’s birthday that evening,” Hudson told the news agency.
The 22-year-old woman said her younger brother’s murder wasn’t real.
“I’m just trying to pretend he’s still here,” Hudson said.
Hudson also told KARE 11 that she hoped he would survive when she found out that her brother was shot.
“At first I was just hoping it was like a small gunshot wound or something, I didn’t seriously think about it until they said they would try to find a pulse, so I just assumed the worst but I hoped for the best,” she said.
Johntae Hudson tried to apply for college, his sister said.
The shooting on Friday night happened the day before Christmas Eve in a department store in the country’s largest mall, said Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges.
Hodges spoke to reporters on Saturday and announced five arrests. Three of the arrested people are 17 years old and two are 18 years old. Police said they were confident they had arrested at least one gunman, but officers have not ruled out a second gunman.
Hodges said on Saturday that authorities had not established a motive and that those arrested appeared uncooperative.
“We know the how, the where, the what and the who, we don’t know the why,” said Hodges.
Bloomington police could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The mall’s security video recorded the altercation, which took place between two groups of five to nine people. During the fight, a man pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots at the victim, Hodges said Saturday.
The shooting happened just before 8:00 PM and the mall was shut down. The mall tweeted at 22:10 that the lockdown was being lifted.
According to Hodges, a bystander’s coat was hit by a bullet, but no other injuries were reported.
Several members of the New York Giants, who faced off against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, were in the Mall of America when the shooting occurred. Some players were in the mall and several others were in the team’s dining room, a meeting room right outside their hotel that was adjacent to the mall. No one on the team was injured.
“Your first thought is, of course, if you’re safe, think of your teammates,” said wide receiver Darius Slayton. “There are people who could have gone shopping. Some people are in their room, some people are everywhere. Your next thought, of course, is that all your teammates are okay, which they were.”
The shopping center, which opened in 1992, experimented with metal detectors at some entrances earlier this year, reported KARE 11.
The mall told the station at the time that it was testing options “that could allow us to further improve security systems.”