BOISE, Idaho — Tuesday marks one year since a shooter at the Boise Towne Square mall killed two people and injured three others.
For many people who were at the mall on Oct. 25, 2021, the memories will stay with them for many more years.
Megan Mattocks was working at Old Chicago Pizza + Taproom at the mall that day. She said it was like any other day at work, until a group of regulars ran back into the restaurant.
"They said there's a shooter in the mall, and they closed our doors for us that were leading out to the mall," Mattocks said. "I just see all these people running out and I mean, the police presence was pretty much there automatically, which was great. It just all happened so fast. They were the heroes for us that day. They were the ones that heard the announcement, the ones that closed our doors for us, they're the ones that really notified our staff that there was a shooting because we didn't hear anything really inside the store."
While the events transpired quickly, Mattocks said the memories of that day have been slow to fade.
"I watched the body cam footage last night that they just released and I mean, I was crying all over, you know," Mattocks said. "I just don't understand why, like that was my safe place. I used to go to work to get away from this stuff at home and my home life and everything. I loved that place and then that day, it was taken from me too. I've just kind of felt lost really since then."
Everyone inside Old Chicago was safe, but the suspect, 26-year-old Jacob Bergquist, killed two people and injured three others. Bergquist also died from a gunshot wound to the head, which the coroner deemed a suicide.
One of the victims was Jo Acker, a security guard at the mall. Mattocks said she would sometimes come into the restaurant, and walked Mattocks to her car several times.
"I think about Joe and the other gentlemen that was killed, I can't believe it happened, to my heartbreaks for them and their families," Mattocks said. "Even in the days after the security team that we had, they were family to us too, they'd come down and eat and I'd always pick on them. It's been really hard to see them when they'd come in, especially over the last year, I'd see their little vest and they'd walk in and my heart would just sink. I just want to give them a hug and tell them thank you so much for what they do, and they don't really realize that, that can really happen at any moment, and it did for them. They lost somebody that was on their team and somebody they cared about, somebody we all cared about, and it's just terrible."
Mattocks left her job at Old Chicago in order to help get her mind right. She also went to therapy for a while to work through the trauma.
"It comes across my mind every hour at least of my day now, if not more," Mattlocks said.
Mattocks said living through the shooting has made her less trusting of others. She would see someone wearing a backpack at work and be wary of their motives.
The first question she asked when interviewing for a new job was if they had a plan for emergencies, like a shooter.
"Just cherish the moments that we have," Mattocks said. "With COVID, and this, and everything else, it's taught us all we just need to especially take mental health and to give it a bigger part of our life and our story and more focus for sure."
Brookfield Properties, the owner of Boise Towne Square, released a statement reflecting the day:
"One year ago, a senseless tragedy struck our community. We join with the survivors and the Boise community as they continue to heal. We honor the memory of the victims and their family and friends as they grieve the loss of their loved ones. As we reflect on this anniversary, we also thank the first responders and everyday citizens who have helped save and support others on the day of the tragedy and after."
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