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Boise State community responds to Boise Towne Square mass shooting that left 2 dead and 4 injured Monday afternoon

Photo by Claire Keener

The Boise State community is still processing and responding to the Boise Towne Square mass shooting that left 2 victims dead and 4 injured Monday afternoon, including a Boise Police officer.

Boise Police officers took the suspect, identified on Tuesday as 27 year-old Jacob Bergquist, into custody after he was wounded exchanging fire with police. He later died at the hospital, Boise Police Department announced in a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

“Yesterday’s tragic shooting at the Boise Towne Square mall was a shared trauma for the Boise community,” wrote Boise State President Dr. Marlene Tromp, in a press release and email Tuesday afternoon. The email was also signed by Alicia Estey, vice president for University Affairs and chief of staff and Dr. John Buckwalter, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Boise State Health Services and Counseling Services are offering crisis walk-in services. Members of the Boise State community are encouraged to reach out if they need support. 

“Regardless of whether you were directly impacted by this event, or were there and knew somebody that was there, it could also be traumatizing for you or triggering for you,” said Dr. Matt Niece, director of Counseling Services at University Health Services. “You know, there are such things as vicarious trauma, secondary trauma, and those in a lot of instances can be just as real as if you were there witnessing the event firsthand.”

The Ada County Coroner’s Office identified the two deceased victims as Jo Acker of Caldwell, a 26-year-old Boise Towne Square mall security guard, and Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, of Rupert as reported by The Idaho Statesman.

Tromp stressed in the press release that there were no ongoing threats to Boise State students and staff, in response to rumors on social media regarding ongoing risks to campus safety.

“I want to reassure you as members of the campus community that our public safety and communications teams are in regular contact with the Boise Police Department,” Tromp wrote.

Niece encouraged students to take care of themselves and recognize the wide range of feelings and reactions that follow a traumatic event like this. He wants students to feel comfortable submitting a CARE referral for anyone they know who is struggling and needs additional support.

“Come on into counseling services,” Niece said. “We are here for you Monday through Friday, eight to five. All you have to do is identify that you need to be seen right away, and we’re here for that.”

The Boise Towne Square remains closed today “in observance and respect for our community,”  as announced on Facebook.

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