Suspect in Idaho mall shooting that killed 2, injured 5, including Boise officer, dies, police say

BOISE, Idaho — The suspect in a mass shooting at the Boise Towne Square mall on Monday that left two people dead and five injured, including a police officer, died Tuesday morning at an area hospital, police confirmed.

Ada County Coroner Dotti Owens identified the suspected gunman as Jacob Bergquist, 27, of Boise, but said his official cause of death has not been determined.

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According to a news release issued by the Boise Police Department, Bergquist is believed to have fired 18 rounds inside the mall before exiting and exchanging gunfire with officers. An officer sitting in his patrol car and a 68-year-old woman who was inside her vehicle both suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the outdoor shootout.

The two victims who died after being shot inside the mall were identified Tuesday by the coroner as Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, of Rupert and 26-year-old Jo Acker, a military veteran, of Caldwell, the Idaho Statesman reported.

According to The Associated Press, Acker was a Boise Towne Square security guard, and her family said that she died trying to stop Bergquist.

“Jo you were always kind of loving .... you always had such an enormous heart of gold,” Acker’s sister Shawna Lee Lannigan wrote on Facebook. “You were and are and always will be a hero. I love you to the ends of this earth and beyond.”

Police also confirmed in the news release that two other women inside the mall, a 52-year-old and a 23-year-old, suffered non-life-threatening injuries when the suspect fired “rounds into the floor.”

In a Tuesday news conference, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean called Monday a “terrible day.”

“We will have many days ahead where all of us are questioning what happened, wondering why, and wondering what’s next and then how to feel,” she said. “We lost two people from this community yesterday, and my heart goes out to the families of Jo Acker and Roberto Padilla.”

Meanwhile, Boise Chief of Police Ryan Lee told the Statesman that the decision to reopen the mall rests entirely with the facility’s management.

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In its news release, the police department said evidence indicated that the shooter was first contacted by a security guard, now known to be Acker, who was shot and killed at the scene. Police said the shooter then fired several rounds, shooting a glass escalator and the second victim, Arguelles, who died a short while later at an area hospital.

Another man was injured when he fell while trying to escape the mall, police confirmed.

“We really cannot at this time speak to any motivation behind it,” Lee said during a press conference Monday afternoon. “I cannot stress enough how traumatic this event is for the community at large, as well as for those that were witnesses, or are the families of those involved or involved themselves.”

According to the Statesman, police determined that Bergquist had multiple guns and ammunition at the mall, and 18 shell casings were recovered from inside the building.

Lee said that Bergquist does not have an arrest record, but he is a “known subject” who was “the subject of other police reports.”

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.