Boise shooter reported to police 3 times before mall attack
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Police received multiple calls from people reporting an armed and threatening man in the months before he killed two people and injured at least four others in a shooting at a Boise shopping mall, public records show.
The Idaho Statesman obtained the Ada County Emergency Dispatch records through a public record request and reported on the documents Thursday. The dispatch records showed callers had reported Jacob Bergquist to law enforcement agencies for separate incidents at a Walmart, a hospital and a mall in recent months.
Bergquist, who died a day after exchanging gunfire with Boise police officers, shot and killed two people and injured at least four others at the Boise Towne Square mall on Oct. 25.
Previously released records showed Idaho State Police troopers and Boise Police officers were aware of Bergquist, who frequently carried a firearm visibly and promoted a YouTube channel where he advocated for felons to be able to legally own firearms. But Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said after the mall shooting that none of the reports to his agency involving Bergquist had risen to the level of an arrest.
Though Bergquist had a felony conviction in Illinois for theft and a misdemeanor conviction in Wisconsin for marijuana possession, neither conviction barred him from possessing a firearm in Idaho, the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office determined.
The first time someone contacted Ada County dispatchers about Bergquist was on March 7, according to the records. A caller from a Walmart store in Meridian, Idaho, reported that Bergquist — apparently a new employee — “was told that he could not open carry on the premises but refused to put his weapon away,” dispatch noted.
The caller said Bergquist made verbal threats but did not brandish the handgun he carried in a side holster. The caller also said he intended to fire Bergquist and wanted him banned from the store. Meridian Police Department officers notified Bergquist of the ban when they caught up with him after he left the store.
The next call about Bergquist was made on June 17, when someone reported that he had entered the Boise Towne Square mall through the entrance near Old Chicago with a gun holstered on his hip and two ammo magazines “strapped to his back.”
The mall does not allow firearms on the premises. The caller told dispatch that Bergquist was walking quickly and said they were concerned about the additional ammunition he was carrying.
In the report, the dispatcher wrote that Bergquist had “been seen on numerous occasions open carrying a handgun (downtown) and now has moved to (the) mall area.“ The dispatcher also noted Bergquist’s YouTube channel. It’s not clear from dispatch records whether police made contact with Bergquist over this particular incident.
The third Ada County Emergency Dispatch report on Bergquist came less than two weeks later. On June 28, a caller reported that a man open carrying a firearm on his hip tried to enter a building on the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center campus on Emerald Street in Boise. Firearms are not allowed on the hospital campus.
Around the same time, another caller from Saint Al’s contacted dispatch after a coworker informed them that there were “two guys with guns and a knife trying to get in.” The caller said they had barricaded the door with a filing cabinet.
The dispatch report connected the two calls to Bergquist, who reportedly told police that he was at the hospital for a job interview and threw his gun into his backpack. Bergquist also complained that police had made the interview “awkward” and said he was upset with the hospital for calling law enforcement.