After victim dies in mall shooting, family wants to bring him home to Mexico for funeral

·3 min read

Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, was shopping for gifts for his family at Boise Towne Square on Monday afternoon. He was planning to return home to Mexico soon to see his wife and children for the first time in months.

Then he was shot.

“The suspect ... fired multiple rounds inside the building, striking the glass escalator and a second victim who succumbed to his injuries at the hospital,” the Boise Police Department said in a statement Tuesday.

Police said Jacob Bergquist, 27, of Boise, fired 18 rounds inside the mall before exiting. Two people, Padilla Arguelles and Jo Acker, 26, of Caldwell, died and two others were injured. Bergquist then exchanged gunfire with law enforcement on North Milwaukee 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, have had a difficult time navigating the tragedy from so far away.

“I’m devastated,” his 26-year-old daughter Yanet Padilla 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.”

Roberto Padilla Arguelles with his wife and grandson.
Roberto Padilla Arguelles with his wife and grandson.

Padilla Arguelles had three children with wife, María de Jesús Mora: Yanet, Rosalinda Padilla, 21, and Iván Padilla, 14. He also had a 2-year-old grandson, Elian Gael, whom Yanet, 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.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to raise the money needed to bring Padilla Arguelles’ body home for a burial.

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

The city of Rupert posted a statement to its Facebook page on Tuesday:

“Today, the City of Rupert received word that a member of our community, (Roberto) Padilla Arguelles, was killed during the Boise Mall shootings on Monday, October 25, 2021. The City of Rupert would like to offer our heart-felt condolences to the family of Mr. Arguelles in their time of grief. The City of Rupert offers its support to those investigating the Boise Mall shooting, our thanks to the first responders, and express our sympathy to all those who were affected by this senseless act of violence.”

Roberto Padilla Arguelles with his daughters.
Roberto Padilla Arguelles with his daughters.

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