On September 17, 2016, Avon Police Officer Jason Falconer was off duty, shopping at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud City. While in the mall, he heard loud sharp noises and saw a male dressed in a security uniform coming toward him in what appeared to be a chaotic environment with many people yelling and running. The male dressed in the security uniform approached Officer Falconer, who was dressed in civilian clothing, and asked him if he were a Muslim. Officer Falconer said no. He then observed that the male had a knife in each hand as he turned to run away. Officer Falconer drew his gun, announced that he was a police officer, and ordered the suspect to drop the weapons.
The suspect then ran toward the Macy's department store as Officer Falconer followed. He ran into the Macy's and down the main aisle of the store with Officer Falconer now pursuing him on foot. Several witnesses verified that Officer Falconer was yelling loudly that he was an off-duty police officer, and was directing the suspect to drop the weapons. Just inside Macy's, the suspect ran into a clothing display area before he turned toward Officer Falconer. Initially the suspect laid down on the floor, but after a few seconds the suspect jumped to his feet and charged Officer Falconer with the knives in his hands. Officer Falconer backed away rapidly while shooting multiple rounds at the suspect. After being shot, the suspect fell to the ground. Officer Falconer continued to order the suspect to stay down and drop the knives.
During this incident Officer Falconer had the wherewithal to pull out his wallet badge and hold it up, announcing that he was an off-duty police officer. However, the suspect got up again, circled around in the clothing area, and advanced a second time toward Officer Falconer, still holding the knives. As the suspect began to run toward him, Officer Falconer fired multiple rounds, at which point the suspect turned to position his back facing the officer, and continued to approach him while walking backwards. He took rounds to his back and again went down while still holding a knife. He eventually began to crawl on his hands and knees toward Officer Falconer before succumbing to his injuries.
Prior to encountering Officer Falconer, the suspect had entered the mall, physically attacked shoppers, and stabbed 10 people. Without Officer Falconer's quick, selfless, and heroic actions, the suspect would have likely continued through the mall attacking and stabbing others.
The actions of Officer Falconer demonstrated extraordinary bravery, decisiveness, and a willingness to protect the lives of others, without regard to his own personal safety.
The Congressional Badge of Bravery Ceremony was held on April 5, 2018, at the St. Cloud Police Department.
MPR News: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/04/05/officer-awarded-badge-of-bravery-for-stopping-mall-stabber and CBS Minnesota, https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2018/04/05/we-move-on-officer-who-shot-mall-attacker-honored-with-bravery-award/