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Boise Mall Shooter Had Been Repeatedly Reported To Police Before Rampage

Boise, ID – Police had received three calls reporting Jacob Bergquist in the months before the 27 year old opened fire in a Boise shopping mall on Oct. 25.

Ada County Emergency Dispatch records obtained by the Idaho Statesman through a public records request showed that law enforcement received three separate calls about the future mall shooter in the months leading up to the violence.

Officials had already said that records showed Idaho State Police troopers and Boise police officers were familiar with Bergquist.

Authorities said Bergquist promoted a YouTube channel called “Guns N Rodents” that advocated for felons to be allowed to legally own guns, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Bergquist was a convicted felon in Illinois and by law, he couldn’t own a gun in that state.

However, he could legally carry a weapon in Idaho.

Bergquist also frequently garnered attention because he open-carried a firearm in public.

Dispatch records showed that police officers responded to a call about Bergquist’s behavior at the Meridian Walmart on March 7, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The reporting person said that Bergquist had just started working at the store and “was told that he could not open carry on the premises but refused to put his weapon away,” according to the dispatcher.

The caller told the dispatcher that Bergquist had made threats but never took out the handgun he carried in a side holster, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Bergquist had left the store before responding officers arrived, but Meridian police caught up with him elsewhere and notified him that he had been banned from the Walmart.

He was also terminated by the store.

On June 17, police received another call about Bergquist because he entered the Boise Towne Square mall wearing a holstered gun on his hip and had two magazines of ammunition “strapped to his back,” the Idaho Statesman reported.

The mall prohibits firearms on the premises, and the reporting party said the armed man was walking fast and they were worried about the extra ammunition Bergquist had.

Dispatchers noted in the call log that prior to the call, Bergquist had “been seen on numerous occasions open carrying a handgun [downtown] and now has moved to [the] mall area,” the Idaho Statesman reported.

The dispatcher’s report also noted that Bergquist had said on social media that he “dislikes [law enforcement] and promotes gun rights and open carry.”

It wasn’t clear whether officers actually made contact with the suspect on that occasion, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Ada County Emergency Dispatch received yet another call about Bergquist on June 28.

The caller told dispatchers that a man with a gun on his hip had tried to enter a building on the campus at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center on Emerald Street in Boise, but firearms are prohibited at the hospital, the Idaho Statesman reported.

About the same time, a second person from the hospital called 911 and said there were “two guys with guns and a knife trying to get in” and said they had barricaded the door with a filing cabinet as a precaution.

Bergquist told police he was at St. Alphonsus for a job interview and threw his gun into his backpack, the Idaho Statesman reported.

He was upset the hospital had called police about his gun and complained officers made the interview “awkward.”

The dispatch report for the third incident noted Bergquist’s prior convictions but said it was unclear whether the convicted felon was a prohibited possessor of firearms, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The final incident that led to Bergquist’s death as well as the deaths of two people he shot began at about 1:50 p.m. on Oct. 25 when Ada County 911 dispatchers started receiving reports of gunfire inside Boise Towne Square, according to a press release from the Boise Police Department.

Callers told 911 that the gunman was a white male, dressed in black.

Boise police said in the release that a mall security officer – later identified as 26-year-old U.S. Army veteran Jo Acker – engaged the gunman on the first floor of the building near a department store.

Bergquist shot and killed the security guard and then fired multiple rounds inside the mall, shooting the glass escalator and killing 49-year-old Roberto Padilla Arguelles, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Acker was pronounced dead at the scene and Arguelles died at the hospital, according to police.

Police said Bergquist continued his rampage through mall and fired rounds into the floor that ricocheted and wounded two women.

Boise police officers arrived on the scene at 1:53 p.m., just three minutes after the first 911 call, according to the press release.

Officers spotted the suspect running from the mall and confronted him behind a business in the 500-block of North Milwaukee.

There was a gunfight between the suspect and at least one officer, according to police.

Boise police said a 68-year-old woman in her vehicle nearby was wounded during the exchange.

Bergquist was in possession of multiple firearms and had lots of ammunition with him at the mall, according to the press release.

He died in the hospital the day after his shooting spree in the mall.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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