Mall shooting victim’s family hopes to bring body home

Oct 27, 2021, 2:08 PM | Updated: 2:58 pm

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A man who was killed in an Idaho shooting at a Boise mall on Monday was shopping for gifts for his family when he was wounded, family members said.

Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, was a truck driver who lived part of the year in the southern Idaho city of Rupert and part of the year in Zacatecas, Mexico, the Idaho Statesman reported, and at the time of his death was planning to return to his home in Mexico in two weeks. He was one of two people killed in an attack that left four others injured at the Boise Towne Square Mall.

“I’m devastated,” Padilla Arguelles’ daughter Yanet Padilla, 26, told the Idaho Statesman in a message. “I felt that I died when my husband told me what happened. I feel sad, and I feel that my life (went) away with him. It’s so difficult when I see my mom crying for (her) husband.”

Police said Jacob Bergquist, 27, of Boise, fired 18 rounds inside the mall before exiting. Padilla Arguelles and Jo Acker, a 26-year-old security guard from Caldwell, died and two others were injured inside the mall. Bergquist then exchanged gunfire with law enforcement on a nearby street, injuring a Boise police officer and a woman who was inside her vehicle. Bergquist died in the hospital on Tuesday.

Padilla Arguelles’ family, who live in Zacatecas, Mexico, has had a difficult time navigating the tragedy from so far away. Relatives have started an online fundraiser to raise money to bring his body home for burial.

“All of the costs will be to return our brother to his family in Mexico with a proper burial and funeral service,” Padilla Arguelles’ brother-in-law Ricardo Macias wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We greatly appreciate any type of help and hop(e) to be able to put our brother at rest.”

Padilla Arguelles had three children with his wife, María de Jesús Mora: Yanet Padilla, Rosalinda Padilla, 21, and Iván Padilla, 14. He also had a 2-year-old grandson, Elian Gael, whom Yanet Padilla, Elian’s mother, called “the love of his life.”

Yanet described her father as “a very kind, responsible and honest person.” According to his daughter, Padilla Arguelles was in a work program in which he would alternate working for three months in Rupert, east of Twin Falls, as a truck driver and then spend three months back in Mexico. While in Rupert, he lived with his brother and brother-in-law. Before his death, Padilla Arguelles was planning to return home in two weeks.

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Mall shooting victim’s family hopes to bring body home