EAGAN, Minn. -- A teenager is facing several charges after allegedly throwing a firework into a south metro movie theater, terrifying those inside and leaving two injured, including a baby girl.
Khalid Hassan, 18, of Eagan, is charged in Dakota County with felony counts of third-degree assault, threats of violence with intent to terrorize, and criminal damage to property. He is also facing a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault in connection to the July 12 incident at the Emagine Eagan theater.
According to a criminal complaint, roughly 40 people were watching a screening of "The Black Phone" that evening when Hassan, who was with three other boys, walked down the aisle, lit the firework and threw the explosive in front of the handicap row. The act was captured on surveillance video as well as video posted by the teens on social media.
The explosion lit up the room, causing people to flee. Several witnesses told investigators that they initially thought the blast was gunfire and believed they "were going to be killed," the complaint states. The weeks leading up to the incident were marked by mass shooting across the country, including awhere seven people died and dozens of others were injured.
At least two people were hurt in the blast, the complaint states. One of them was an 11-month-old baby who suffered burns on her cheeks and nose. The other victim suffered multiple cuts on her leg and later needed to have debris and infected tissue removed from her wounds.
Maddie Anderson was celebrating her 27th birthday with her boyfriend when the blast went off. "I thought I was going to die," she, adding: "Instantly, I was like, 'shooting, shooting, it's a shooting. I'm going to die on my 27th birthday.'"
Hassan and other boys immediately fled after the blast, but one of them lingered to record the aftermath, observing frightened movie-goers rushing out of the theater. The explosion left burns on the carpet and damaged the movie screen, leaving the theater with more than $1,000 in damages.
After being arrested on Tuesday, Hassan admitted to investigators that he lit the firework and threw it in the theater, the complaint states. He also allegedly identified himself on video footage recorded at the scene.
Kathryn Keena, the county attorney, called the act of throwing a firework in a movie theater "reprehensible," adding that it was "made more so by the recent spate of mass killings across the United States." She said the investigation into the incident remains ongoing and more charges could be filed against others involved.
Hassan made his first court appearance Thursday, when a judge set his bail at $50,000 without conditions. His next court appearance is slated for Aug. 16.
For each of the felony charges, Hassan faces up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
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