A suspect is in custody after two people were killed and four injured, including a police officer, during a shooting at a mall Monday in Boise, Idaho.
At a press conference, authorities said officers had exchanged shots with the suspect. Most of the mall has been cleared, but police were still looking for additional victims.
Police said the shooting had been reported to police around 1.50pm Monday, and when officers arrived they saw someone who matched the suspect’s description.
“There was an exchange of gunfire that occurred shortly after, resulting in the officer’s injury as well as the arrest of the suspect,” said Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee. He said investigators believed there was only one shooter and there was no continued danger to the public.
“We can’t really speak at this point of any motivation behind this,” Lee said.
Boise Towne Square Mall is the largest mall in Idaho’s largest city.
After the shooting, several witnesses were in the rain outside the entrance to Macy’s, one of the five department stores in the mall, waiting to be interviewed by police or told they could leave. Patrol cars from various agencies, ambulances and fire trucks filled a section of the mall’s parking lot. Officials from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were assisting in the investigation.
About a quarter mile away, officers closed part of a highway near a busy intersection in order to investigate a second crime scene related to the shooting incident. Officers declined to answer questions about the investigation, except to confirm that it was related.
Cheri Gypin from Boise was with a friend at the mall, where they walk for an hour three or four times a week. He said he heard several big knocks, but thought something had fallen from the ceiling. Then some 60 people, including families pushing baby carriages, ran towards them, some of them yelling that there was an active shooter.
“My friend was trying to process it,” said Gypin, 60. “I just looked at her and said, ‘We have to run.’ So we just ran and kept running until we reached the outer perimeter of the parking lot. “
They returned to their car, where the police told the crowd of people who had fled the mall to leave the parking area.
Investigators were working with hospital officials to notify family members of those injured and killed in the shooting, Lee said.
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean called on the public and the media to give the victims and their families privacy as they dealt with the trauma of the shooting. He thanked law enforcement officers, first responders and others who he said worked to keep the community safe.
“Countless people found themselves in a situation that they never would have had or should have expected,” McLean said, praising the merchants and others at the mall for reacting “so quickly to take care of the people that were there. In a difficult and chaotic time, you showed how much you care and what you are willing to do to support and care for strangers. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism