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10 takeaways from the Boise mall shooting police report

The Boise mall shooting was a hard day for many Idahoans, leaving many with questions about why the shooter acted the way he did and what happened inside.
Credit: Brian Myrick
Law enforcement personnel investigate a vehicle along Milwaukee Street involved in a shooting that took place at Boise Towne Square mall on Oct. 25, 2021.

BOISE, Idaho — This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.

The Boise Towne Square mall shooting was a hard day for many Idahoans and left many with questions about why the shooter acted the way he did and what happened inside the mall. A 465-page police report obtained by the Idaho Press answered some of those questions and provided details of how the afternoon unfolded. Here are some takeaways from the report:

1. The shooter, Jacob Bergquist, 27, had told a family member whose name is redacted that he felt like he would die soon.

2. In response to the shooting, police attempted a plan to place three- to four-man teams at each major control point within the mall and then designated a collection point, at the center court. The goal was to consolidate innocent people, cover them in place, document everything and evacuate people through the Apple store. Cpl. Brek Orton wrote in his report that they tried to make an intercom announcement to tell people hiding that it was safe so they could send them to the collection point. However, the plan failed because the intercom system at the mall didn’t work. Search teams instead resumed searching stores and making announcements in each store.

3. Police advised Bishop Kelly and Borah high schools to go into lockdown due to their proximity to the mall.

4. Police helped provide security for businesses that were abandoned and left open.

5. A search group consisting of Idaho State troopers, Ada County deputies and Garden City Police “located and extracted more than 70 barricaded civilians from the lower level of the mall,” the report said.

6. Officer Logan Terry and Boise Fire Department Engine 11 checked in on restaurants inside the mall to make sure ovens, burners, fryers and other appliances were shut off. Several owners and managers arrived at the mall to check, and police escorted in employees of Wetzel’s Pretzels, El Cazo Mexican Food, Lucky Chef Asian Foods and Panda Express to check on cooking appliances.

7. One victim had metallic fragments in her right leg, which doctors decided were unretrievable.

8. Over 160 law enforcement responded, including Boise Police, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Garden City Police Department, Meridian Police Department, Nampa Police Department, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Boise Fire Department and Ada County Paramedics.

9. An inert grenade was found at the shooter’s residence, according to the report.

10. The shooter had been removed from his home for selling marijuana laced with PCP at the age of 15, according to the interview with out-of-state family described in the report.

Carolyn Komatsoulis covers Boise, Meridian and Ada County. Contact her at 208-465-8107 and follow her on Twitter @CKomatsoulis.

This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.

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