Death toll in Idaho mall shooting rises to 3 as suspect dies

The hospitalized suspect in Monday’s Idaho mall shooting died Tuesday, bringing the death toll in the violence at Boise Towne Square to three, police said.

The Ada County coroner identified the dead as Joseph Acker, 26, of Caldwell, and Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, of Rupert. The suspected shooter was identified as Jacob Bergquist, 27, of Boise.

Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said at a news conference Tuesday that Bergquist was known to both police and mall security, although he didn’t appear to have an arrest record in the city.

Security guards had contacted him about matters like disruptive or disorderly behavior and allegations of trespassing in the past, Lee said.

At least four other people were wounded in the shooting, police said in a statement Tuesday.

They include two women, ages 52 and 23, who sustained what were described as non-life-threatening injuries inside a department store, and a 68-year-old woman who was struck inside a vehicle, possibly as police and the suspect exchanged gunfire outside. She was also expected to recover, police said.

A Boise officer, who was treated and released, was struck by glass from the window of the vehicle he was using, they said. His hat was hit by gunfire, they said.

Lee said he wouldn’t be surprised if more people were injured in the rush to leave the mall and went directly to medical facilities for treatment.

A timeline of events police released Tuesday begins with 911 reports of gunfire at 1:50 p.m. Monday.

It says a security guard had “contacted” the suspect on the mall’s first floor, but it’s not clear whether the gunfire started before or after the confrontation. The question could determine whether it was a random shooting or a possibly a homicidal reaction to security and police.

Lee described the suspect Tuesday as “an active shooter with murderous intent.”

“This was an individual that acted cowardly and acted alone,” he said.

After fatally shooting the security guard, the suspect opened fire inside the the mall, killing a man, “striking a glass escalator” and then apparently shooting at the floor, which injured two women, police said in the timeline.

Responding officers spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description outside the mall, and they “quickly came under fire,” Lee said.

Police returned fire, but Lee said it was too soon to rule out the possibility that the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Although police said in Tuesday’s statement that the suspect was armed with “guns,” Lee said all of the shooter’s gunfire came from a single handgun.

He praised shopkeepers for doing the right thing by quickly ushering shoppers into bathrooms and stores that were quickly shuttered. “They closed and sheltered and secured so that they become inaccessible,” Lee said.

Police asked social media companies to preserve Bergquist’s accounts so investigators could determine whether there are clues to his mindset online.

Boise police are investigating the mall attack. A “critical incident task force” headed by the neighboring Meridian Police Department is investigating the exchange of gunfire with police.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said at Tuesday’s news conference: “Yesterday was a hard day. It was a terrible day.”

Image: Dennis RomeroDennis Romero

Dennis Romero writes for NBC News and is based in Los Angeles.

Gemma DiCasimirro

contributed.

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