Might Monday’s mall attack mark Idaho’s first mass shooting? What history tells us

·2 min read

On Monday afternoon, a shooting incident took place at Boise Towne Square at 350 N. Milwaukee St. It could potentially be Idaho’s first case of a mass shooting.

News organization Mother Jones has compiled one of the most comprehensive databases of mass shootings in the United States using FBI criteria. The database shows Idaho’s number of active shooting incidents is zero.

Could Monday’s incident change that? From what was known as of 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, no. To be considered a mass shooting, the incident must:

  • Occur in a single location that is considered a public place

  • Take the lives of at least three people (the perpetrator’s own life not included)

  • Be carried out by a lone shooter (except in rare cases)

No previous shooting in Idaho has met all of those criteria. Monday’s attack did occur in a single, public location. Boise police officers reported that two people died and four more were injured. Police reported they took one person into custody, and that person was injured as well, and in critical condition at the hospital.

There have been notable examples in recent years that came close to the mass shooting definition.

In 2015, a Nampa man beat an elderly couple and their disabled son to death in their Foothills home.

In 2017, a Utah man shot three women at his home in Caldwell.

In 2018, a California man stabbed nine people at a children’s birthday party held at an apartment complex. The attack included six young children. He was charged with murder after a 3-year-old child died from related injuries.

In 2020, an elderly man who had a history of disputes with two women at a Caldwell senior living center shot the two women before killing himself. One woman died, the other sustained injuries.

In May, sixth-grade girl shot three people at her school in Rigby. All survived.

However, because these attacks occurred either at a private location, killed fewer than three people, or were committed with weapons other than a gun, they do not fall into the mass-shooting category.

UPDATE: 2 dead, 4 injured in Boise mall shooting; suspect wounded, in custody

WATCH: Boise Police press conference on Towne Square shooting

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