We are all saddened by the incident that occurred at the Crossroads Center Mall on Saturday evening. Reports of violence in public spaces have become all too common, but the occurrence in St. Cloud has made the conflicts in our country and world more personal for many of our students and members of our community.
First and foremost, we are concerned about the safety, and physical and emotional well-being of our students and employees. Crossroads Center is a place frequented by our students and employees and their families. Many work, shop and socialize there, including me.
We have students on our campus and in our community who don’t feel safe because of the connections being made between this event and larger issues of violence around the world. It is important that we support our students, including our Muslim and Somali students, and create an environment in which all students feel supported, respected and safe.
Last night, law enforcement named Dahir Adan as the suspect in the knife attack who was shot and killed. Adan was a former student at St. Cloud State who was last enrolled during spring 2016.
We acknowledge and commend off-duty officer Jason Falconer, a 1995 graduate of St. Cloud State, for his quick, but difficult, actions in keeping the situation from escalating further, as well as local law enforcement for keeping our community safe in the aftermath. Likewise, I am thankful to our community leaders, many of whom are alumni serving Somali and diversity organizations, for their compassion, partnership and collaboration to help the St. Cloud community move forward from this tragedy.
I would like to reassure visitors, alumni and campus community members alike that the University works collaboratively with the city, county, state and national organizations on making sure St. Cloud State is prepared to avoid or manage an active threat situation. We will continue to find opportunities to increase awareness of existing emergency procedures and training.
As distinguished alumni and friends of St. Cloud State, I am thankful for your support as ambassadors for the campus and our community. It is critical that we come together as a community to support one another, find answers and help the entire St. Cloud community recover from this tragic event.