MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A deadly shooting that occurred in the Mall of America’s Nordstrom store last December has recently been brought to light through firsthand witness accounts and surveillance footage. Johntae Hudson, 19, was tragically killed two days before Christmas during a violent altercation involving multiple firearms.
The incident took place during the bustling holiday season, with Hudson being shot eight times. Currently on trial in Hennepin County juvenile court is a 17-year-old who was seen on surveillance footage tackling Hudson. Hudson, who was also armed, managed to fire a few shots before two of the teenager’s associates, Lavon Longstreet and Taeshawn Adams-Wright, allegedly intervened and opened fire.
Hudson was fatally shot in the back while lying face down on the floor. The charges against the 17-year-old, who claimed to be a football player at Minneapolis North High School, were recently downgraded to gross misdemeanor rioting. Prosecutors argue that there is no evidence to suggest the teenager knew his associates were armed, a decision that has been met with disapproval from Hudson’s parents.
The mall’s security footage captured most of the confrontation, which took place amidst Christmas decorations and last-minute shoppers. One mother was reportedly grazed by a stray bullet. The young defendant, who was unarmed, testified that there were at least four guns present during the escalating confrontation on December 23rd.
Mall officials have yet to comment on the security concerns raised during the trial. Hudson’s mother, Lynn, has called for the installation of metal detectors to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
The murder trials for the alleged gunmen and co-defendants, Longstreet and Adams-Wright, are scheduled for February 2024.