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Multiple people reported Boise mall shooter to police over guns, odd behavior


BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — On multiple occasions, the perpetrator of last month’s mall shooting in Boise was reported to police when his behavior and open display of a gun made them feel unsafe, emergency dispatch reports show.

According to Ada County Emergency Dispatch records obtained by the Idaho Statesman through a public records request, police received calls about Jacob Bergquist three times in the span of a few months leading up to the fatal mall shooting. 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 his YouTube channel, called Guns N Rodents, where he advocated for felons to be able to legally own firearms.

Bergquist had a felony conviction in Illinois for theft and a misdemeanor conviction in Wisconsin for marijuana possession. Neither conviction prohibited him from possessing a firearm in Idaho, the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office determined.

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Law enforcement officers raised questions about Bergquist’s apparently inflammatory behavior, as did the individuals who called police, dispatch records show. Police responded to calls about the 27-year-old at a local Walmart, a hospital and even at the mall where he later shot and killed people. Bergquist was never arrested.

The first time someone called police about Bergquist’s behavior was on March 7. A caller at the Meridian Walmart at 4051 E. Fairview Ave. reported that Bergquist, apparently a new employee of the store, “was told that he could not open carry on the premises but refused to put his weapon away,” dispatch noted. Bergquist reportedly made verbal threats but did not brandish the firearm, a handgun he had in a side holster.

Meridian Police caught up with Bergquist, who had left the Walmart, and informed him that he should consider himself banned from the store per the request of the calling party, who indicated to officers that he also intended to fire Bergquist.

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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.

The dispatch report notes that, by this point, Bergquist had “been seen on numerous occasions open carrying a handgun (downtown) and now has moved to (the) mall area.“ The report noted Bergquist’s YouTube channel and said he “dislikes (law enforcement) and promotes gun rights and open carry.” It’s not clear from dispatch records whether police made contact with Bergquist over this particular incident.

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The final Ada County Emergency Dispatch report on Bergquist came less than two weeks later. On June 28, a caller contacted dispatch to report that a man open carrying a firearm on his hip tried to enter a building on the Saint Alphonsus campus on Emerald Street in Boise. Firearms are not allowed on the Saint Al’s campus.

Around the same time, another caller from Saint Al’s contacted dispatch after a co-worker 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 about his violation.

During the final incident, dispatch noted Bergquist’s prior convictions and said it was unclear whether he was a prohibited possessor of firearms.

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