The victims of the shooting at a shopping mall in Boise, Idaho, were identified Tuesday as authorities search for a motive behind the fatal attack.
One of the people killed in the shooting was identified by family members as Jo Acker, 26, a security guard at Boise Towne Square Mall. Acker was the first person to come in contact with the shooter at the mall, according to the police.
“Jo you were always kind and loving,” Acker’s sister, Shawna Lannigan, wrote on Facebook. “You always had such an enormous heart of gold. I always felt like your keeper. I always wanted to protect you and you always wanted to protect others. You were and are and always will be a hero.”
The Ada County Coroner identified the other slain victim as Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, of Rupert, Idaho, who was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The suspect of the shooting died from his injuries, police announced Tuesday.
The Ada County Coroner identified the suspected shooter as Jacob Bergquist, a 27-year-old Boise man. Bergquist’s cause of death was still pending, according to Boise Police Department Chief Ryan Lee.
In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Lee said the police are still trying to identify a motive for the shooting. Authorities say they’re looking through Bergquist’s social media pages and contacting his family with help from the FBI.
Bergquist was the subject of multiple police reports in the past but was never arrested, Lee said. The Boise Police Department doesn’t believe Bergquist had any employment history with the mall.
Authorities said they’re not aware of any relationship between the suspect and victims, and believe there was only one shooter. “The community is safe,” Lee said. “This is an individual that acted cowardly, and acted alone.”
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In a prepared statement released Tuesday afternoon, the police department said evidence shows the shooter was first contacted by a security guard, Acker, who was shot and killed at the scene. Police said the shooter then fired several rounds, shooting a glass escalator and a second victim, Padilla Arguelles, who died of his injuries at a hospital.
The shooter then walked through the mall, firing rounds into the floor, which led to a 52-year-old woman and a 23-year-old woman being injured. Another man was injured when he fell while trying to escape the mall.
About three minutes after the initial report, responding officers saw the suspect running from the mall area. They exchanged gunfire with the suspect outside a nearby business along a busy road, with the suspect shooting toward the road, according to the police department.
A 68-year-old woman who was in her car on the road was injured in the gunfight, according to police. An officer was also injured in the shootout, and was treated and released from the hospital.
Police found 18 spent shell casings inside the mall, and the investigation shows that the shooter had several guns and ammunition at the mall, the department said.
At Tuesday’s news conference, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said the shooting “was a terrible day” for the community and thanked mall employees, patrons and first responders for their bravery and quick action.
“You provided care in a moment where somebody next to you needed that,” McLean said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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