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Boise Towne Square reopens Wednesday

A vigil is set for Thursday at the mall in honor of the victims and responders from the deadly shooting that took place there this week.

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise Towne Square mall reopened at noon Wednesday, for the first time since the shooting Monday afternoon that left two people dead and three injured.

The deceased victims have been identified as Jo Acker, 26, from Caldwell, and Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, from Rupert.

A third person, the suspected attacker, died Tuesday morning, from injuries after exchanging gunfire with Boise Police officers. Police identified the man as 27-year-old Jacob Bergquist. That shooting is under investigation by the Ada County Critical Task Force.

Speaking at the mall as it reopened Wednesday, Mayor Lauren McLean said a vigil will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday in honor of the victims as well as all the police, paramedics and mall employees who responded. 

The vigil will take place at Boise Towne Square's main entrance, in front of Old Chicago. All who attend are asked to wear a face covering and practice physical distancing with people outside their immediate household.

Before speaking to reporters outside the mall, McLean met with mall managers and some store staff credited with helping save lives during Monday's shooting.

"I want to thank the managers here at the mall and, importantly, all of the employees that went above and beyond this week to protect folks who were in their stores, in their hallways, that were here going about doing their business," McLean said. "I just had some wonderful conversations with some young Boiseans, quite frankly, that did so much to keep each other safe, that are glad to be back here today, opening their gates to their customers, are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support they've had from the community, as are we."

McLean said the mall employees she talked with were visibly shaken by Monday's events, but also showed resilience and care.

"They were hearing bullets. They were close to what was happening when people were running through the mall," McLean said. "One store in particular -- these three young women shared with me how they left their gates open and they pulled more people in to create a safe space for folks. I know that it's tough to come back today. They're happy to be back today, but I could see in their eyes and hear in their voice how scared they were, how brave they were, and how lucky Boiseans were to be helped by them."

McLean also said she wanted to assure people that the mall is safe.

"While we are deeply saddened by the loss of life that we've had, and we honor those that we lost, the people here at the mall -- the incredible everyday heroes are ready to welcome you back," she said.

When asked about mall security protocol, McLean said she would defer to mall security, and added that the community owes a debt of gratitude to Jo Acker, who was shot and killed while working as a mall security guard Monday.

Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee also deferred to mall management when asked a question about whether mall security guards had the option to carry guns on the job.

Lee said the Boise Police Dept. has increased its own security presence around the mall.

"There are officers specifically assigned to the area and the footprint immediately around the mall on top of our regular patrol operations, both to address any perceived security concerns, also to let the public know that we are here to serve and protect them," Lee said.

Boise Towne Square is owned by Brookfield Properties. The decision to reopen the mall was made by mall management.

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