Suspect in Mall of America stabbing had past mental issue

Elias Hubbard
November 15, 2017

On Tuesday, 20-year-old Mahad Abdiaziz Abdiraham of Minneapolis was charged with two counts of first-degree assault in connection with an attack that left Sanchez and his brother wounded, according to the complaint.

The criminal complaint says the 19-year-old had come to the mall's Macy's store with his family to shop. Last year, he was charged with assault after attacking and stabbing two staff members at an in-patient psychiatric unit with a pen. When the man returned to the dressing room, Abdiraham was near the room and appeared as if he wanted to get in. Sanchez went back into the fitting room, changed clothes and made to leave, the complaint says. "When the victim came out, Abdiraham was holding a large knife", the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said. Alexander Sanchez suffered cuts across his face, head and deep gashes to the back of his arms.

The victim's family heard him screaming, and a 25-year-old family member went to his rescue with another family member, according to the complaint. Sanchez's brother John Sanchez, 25, was stabbed while trying to grab the knife from Abdiraham, the complaint said. John, Alexander's brother, came to his brother's aid after hearing him scream. His brother needed dozens of stitches to close his wounds, the court filing revealed. The 19-year-old victim needed a blood transfusion and has permanent scarring to his head. When the victim tried to push past him, Abdiraham began slashing at him. Abdiraham remains jailed ahead of a Wednesday court appearance.

The complaint states the victims and witnesses subdued Abdiraham and took away the knife, which had an eight-inch blade.

Security footage showed Abdiraham's purchase of the gloves, and that he put them on before going into the dressing room before Alexander Sanchez's return. He faces a maximum 40 years in prison and/or $60,000 in fines.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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