An unassuming life before a suspect’s rampage in a Minnesota mall

An unassuming life before a suspect’s rampage in a Minnesota mall, by Abigail Hauslohner. Earlier post.

He put on a security guard’s uniform like the one he wore while working a previous job at a nearby appliance factory. He parked outside the shopping mall of the small Minnesota city where he’d grown up, then headed inside, wielding a large knife.

There, police and family members said, Dahir Adan injured 10 people in a chaotic stabbing attack, slashing victims as young as 15 and setting off an hours-long wave of fear. His rampage ended at the hands of an off-duty police officer, who fatally shot Adan in a Macy’s store.

As police on Monday continued to reconstruct the Saturday-night attack at the Crossroads Center mall, they were attempting to understand the roots of a violent attack by a young Somali American who has been in the United States since he was a toddler.

Residents here were stunned by the attack, during which, victims told police, Adan referenced Allah and asked one shopper if he was Muslim.

In other words, people seemed to have no clue that a Somali Muslim living in the West almost since birth would turn savage attacker in the name of Allah — Jihad.

Adan lived in a three-story brick apartment building less than two miles from the mall, where residents said most, if not all, of their neighbors were Somali. Three neighbors confirmed that Adan lived there, but would not provide additional information. “No one is talking right now,” one man said from the doorway of his apartment.