Bullet struck officer’s hat in Idaho mall shooting
BOISE (AP) — Authorities have said a bullet struck the brim of a baseball-style cap worn by a Boise, Idaho, police officer who exchanged gunfire with the gunman in Monday’s shooting at the city’s largest shopping mall that killed two people.
In a statement Friday, authorities identified the officer as Chris Dance, who joined the force in May. He is on paid administrative leave, which is standard after a “critical incident,” The Statesman reported.
The suspect, 27-year-old Jacob Bergquist, died Tuesday in a hospital after the shooting at Boise Towne Square that also injured four other people.
Dance drove up to the scene in a patrol vehicle with another officer in the passenger seat, authorities said. They saw someone matching the description of the suspect behind a business.
Police said Bergquist began firing at the vehicle. The officer in the passenger seat got out of the vehicle to take cover in a better position.
Dance continued driving and fired back at Bergquist before the suspect ran behind a dumpster. Officers then heard another shot fired.
As part of his uniform, Dance was wearing a BPD hat, which was hit with gunfire from Bergquist, according to police.
Police are still investigating Bergquist’s motives. Charges won’t be brought against him because he died, but police are “looking into questions of whether he may have targeted anyone for any specific reason.”
Before the shooting began, security video showed Bergquist wearing a backpack and carrying a weapon inside the mall for about 40 minutes while he walked around and ate in the food court, authorities said.
When a security officer contacted Bergquist, “they spoke, the suspect began to walk away, then turned back and shot the security officer,” according to the statement.
Jo Acker, a security guard at the mall, was one of the two people Bergquist killed. She was 26.
Bergquist continued shooting as he walked away and fired “multiple times” at Roberto Padilla Arguelles, who was riding an escalator. Padilla Arguelles, 49, also was killed.
On Thursday evening, hundreds of people gathered outside the shopping center to honor those who died.