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Idaho police encountered mall shooting suspect with a gun at the state capitol in April

A light pole is wrapped in police tape. It reads, "Police line do not..."
James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio
A scene from Monday's shooting at the Boise Town Square Mall.

The suspected gunman in the shooting at the Boise Towne Square Mall Monday has been known to police since early April when he showed up at the Idaho State Capitol building with a gun. He also allegedly broadcast white-supremacist remarks on social media.

The incident at the Idaho State Capitol is detailed in an Idaho State Police report obtained through a public records request. The officer who encountered Jacob Bergquist, the suspect in the shooting this week, saw him on the second floor rotunda on April 2 filming a video. Bergquist was armed with a holstered semi-automatic handgun.

The officer later followed Bergquist into the governor’s office where the officer overheard him ask the receptionist if he could interview Gov. Brad Little about his thoughts on convicted felons being able to carry guns.

In the report, the officer paraphrases what Berquist told the receptionist.

“He went on to say that he was a felon and that by Idaho Code 18-310 he was able to carry a firearm and that he was trying to get the word out to others that they too could carry in Idaho,” the report states.

Berquist also said he had been convicted of theft in Illinois.

Following this incident, the officer requested that the Ada County Prosecutor's Office investigate Bergquist. Prosecutors found Berquist could legally carry a firearm in Idaho.

In an email to Boise State Public Radio, the prosecutor's office wrote, “On July 28, 2011 a misdemeanor judgment of conviction was entered in that case. He was prosecuted for a retail theft offense in Illinois which does not qualify under 18-310 as a qualifying felony prior conviction. Our office could not take any action.”

The Idaho State Police report listed Bergquist's YouTube channel, "Guns and Rodents." Screenshots from the now-deleted profile show he wrote "minorities are not welcome here!!" and other xenophobic remarks in the "about" section.

Bergquist died in the hospital Tuesday after Monday's shooting.

Gustavo Sagrero was a newsroom intern in 2021.

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