Minnesota man charged in mall stabbings

Last night the Star Tribune reported that Minnesota man Mahad A. Abdirahman was charged with first-degree assault in connection with the stabbings at the Mall of America’s Macy’s store on Sunday evening. The charges were filed yesterday afternoon.

Despite the intense local interest in the story, I can’t find it on the Star Tribune’s home page. If it’s there it isn’t featured. Rather, the Star Tribune has been featuring a critical story on James Wood’s mocking tweet about an assemblage of Somali Muslims at the Mall (story here).

The stabbing victims are brothers Alexander Sanchez (19 years old) and John Sanchez (25): “The younger brother suffered injuries to his head that will leave scars, and cuts to his arms that went ‘to the bone,’ according to the charges. His brother needed dozens of stitches, the court filing revealed.”

The Star Tribune article notes that no motive for the stabbings was offered in the complaint, but that “it did suggest Abdirahman has had psychological difficulties. Last year, he was arrested on suspicion of stabbing two staff members with a pen at an inpatient psychiatric unit.” That case apparently went nowhere.

The article summarizes the criminal complaint filed against Abdhirahman yesterday (the complaint appears to spell his name as indicated below):

Alexander Sanchez had come to Macy’s with eight family members and exited the dressing room to show the others a pair of pants.

He returned to the dressing room as Abdiraham was standing nearby and “looking as if he thought about going inside.”

After Alexander Sanchez “tried to push past” Abdiraham upon exiting the room, Abdiraham started slashing him with a knife, which had an 8-inch blade. Alexander Sanchez suffered cuts across his face and head and deep gashes to the back of his arms. Some cuts to his back made it to the bone.

John Sanchez came to his brother’s rescue, as did another family member. The older brother grabbed at the knife and was cut on his hands, and suffered slashes to his back that required 42 stitches. The brothers and others subdued and disarmed Abdiraham.

Alexander Sanchez needed a blood transfusion.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s online listing of the charges against Abdhirahman is posted here. The sheriff’s listing indicates that the complaint states two felony counts against Abdiraham and that he is held with bail set at $750,000. Here’s hoping he doesn’t make bail.

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