BOISE, Idaho — Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and Police Chief Ryan Lee held a briefing and answered questions at Boise Towne Square Wednesday.
“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 voices how scared they were, how brave they were and how lucky Boiseians were to be helped by them," Mclean said.
The mall reopened to shoppers at 12 p.m. after Monday’s deadly shooting.
“I felt a little emotional just walking in there knowing what everyone had to go through," said Boise resident Bret Denton.
A vigil is scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at Boise Towne Square for the victims, police and first responders.
The vigil will be at the main entrance of Boise Towne Square in front of Old Chicago. Due to COVID-19, attendees are asked to wear a face-covering and socially distance from those not in their immediate household.
McLean thanked management and employees at the mall who went “above and beyond” to protect people inside the mall at the time of the shooting.
“They were hearing bullets. They were close to what was happening There were people running through the mall and one store, in particular, three young women explained to me how they left their gates open, they pulled more people in,” Mclean said.
Chief Lee says there will be increased security around the mall, on top of regular patrol operations.
“I just want to again, assure everybody that you are safe,” said Mclean. “If you’re coming to the mall, people are ready to see you and 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.”
McLean spoke about Jo Acker, the mall security guard who was shot and killed inside the mall. McLean said Jo saved lives on Monday and she did what she was trained to do.
Lee says they are still investigating the motive of the shooting, involving agencies at the local, state and federal level.