Saturday night’s knife attack by a man at a St. Cloud, Minnesota shopping mall proved two things once again: “Gun-free” zones don’t work, and nothing stops a brutal knife attack quite so decidedly as a bullet, or in this case, apparently three bullets.
According to the “Code of Conduct” at the Crossroads Center mall, among the prohibited things are “firearms or illegal weapons.”
Owners of the mall should have to re-think that policy after an off-duty part-time police officer from another jurisdiction – essentially making him just another armed private citizen – intervened in the knife attack and shot the knife-wielding suspect dead. According to the Seattle Times, the dead man has been identified as 22-year-old Dahir A. Adan. He’s been in the country for 15 years, the story said.
The man who shot him has been identified as Jason Falconer, a part-time officer from nearby Avon, and the operator of a gun range. He’s also a firearms instructor, according to published reports.
Falconer is trying to remain low-profile while the investigation proceeds, despite being hailed as a hero. He’s been described as a “medal-winning marksman.” Apparently the dead man made a fatal error in the victim selection process.
Published reports indicate Falconer fired when Adan lunged at him with the knife. The suspect had already attacked eight other people, and allegedly asked at least one of them if he was Muslim. While authorities have not determined the motive behind the attack, a “news agency” reportedly run by the Islamic State has called Adan a “soldier of the Islamic State.”
This incident just might compel some self-defense advocates to make an issue of shopping mall “gun-free” policies. Crossroads Center is hardly the only shopping mall around the country that prohibits “firearms or illegal weapons,” but this weekend’s incident underscores the fact that this only seems to apply to honest citizens.
Had it not been for Falconer’s presence and actions, the incident could have been much worse.
This incident also provides a lesson for other armed citizens: practice, and perhaps take some defensive firearms training. In a changing world, what is learned from such a training course might one day come in handy.