‘We’ve got to run’: 2 dead in Idaho mall shooting

West

Police close off a street outside a shopping mall after a shooting in Boise, Idaho on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. Police said there are reports of multiple injuries and one person is in custody. (AP Photo/Rebecca Boone)

BOISE, Idaho (NEXSTAR) — Police in Boise say two people have died and at least five people, including a police officer and the suspect, have been injured in a shooting at a shopping mall.

The officer who was injured in the attack has been released from the hospital and the suspect was detained and hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

Family members have identified one of the victims who was shot and killed at Boise mall on Monday as Jo Acker, a security guard who they said died trying to stop the shooter.

At a news conference on Monday, authorities said officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect. The majority of the mall had been cleared, but police were still looking for any additional victims at the Boise Towne Square shopping mall, which is located in Idaho’s largest city and is the city’s largest mall.

“At this time we believe there was only a single shooter involved,” Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said at the news conference.

Lee said the shooting was reported to law enforcement about 1:50 p.m. on Monday — including a report that one person was “shot and down” at that time.

When the officers arrived, they spotted someone who matched the description of the suspect.

“There was an exchange of gunfire that ensued shortly thereafter, resulting in the officer’s injury, as well as the suspect being taken into custody,” Lee said.

Police were interviewing dozens of people outside the entrance to Macy’s, one of five large department stores at the mall that has 153 stores in all.

Police said they were also investigating what appeared to be another crime scene at a restaurant near the mall.

“I am deeply, deeply sorry for the pain and trauma you experienced,” Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said, addressing all affected by the shooting. She thanked police for their quick response, as well as shopkeepers at the mall who helped customers after the shooting broke out.

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Cheri Gypin, of Boise, was in the mall with a friend where they walk for an hour three or four times a week. She said she heard several large bangs, but thought something had fallen from the ceiling. Then about 60 people, including families pushing strollers, came running at them, some of them shouting that there was an active shooter.

“My friend was trying to process it,” said Gypin, 60. “I just looked at her and said, ‘We’ve got to run.’ So we just ran and kept running until we got to the outer perimeter of the parking lot.”

They made their way back to their car, where police told the crowd of people who had fled the mall to leave the parking area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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