The following letter is from Mike Murphy, a former security guard who was on duty during the Towne Square Mall shooting incident. Murphy along with two other security staff have since resigned because “It is not safe to work there and we didn’t have proper safety equipment including body armor.” Murphy has sent this letter to the Boise mayor, city council, and most of the local media–including the GUARDIAN.
It is critical of the police handling of the incident and and the mall security. Chief Ryan Lee has read the letter. Lee has had staff contact Murphy in an effort to discuss the letter and potentially add to the plethora of information and evaluations gathered following the shooting deaths.
By MIKE MURPHY
To Whom It May Concern,
As one of three security officers on duty at the time, and assigned to patrol the exterior and parking areas of the mall at the time of the shooting, I offer the following perspective based on first hand knowledge and observation.
Before I continue, it should be noted that nothing I have to say here should be misconstrued as minimizing the bravery exhibited by individual officers, or a condemnation of the profession . . .
The response to the MCI (mass casualty incident) was an absolute clusterf… and failure of leadership, training, and operating procedure, and it is by the Grace of God alone that an infinitely more horrible outcome did not come to pass.
Police leadership failed to recognize / act upon the real possibility of an accomplice and / or placement of explosive devices outside of the entrance / exit to Macy’s where the shooter egressed (a not uncommon tactic of terrorists) and allowed all responding vehicles — which represented a substantial portion of Boise’s overall Police, Fire, and EMS vehicles and personnel — to be bunched up in front of the Macy’s entrance where they would have been decimated had a device been detonated and / or an accomplice had opened fire.
No perimeter was ever established / secured in the area surrounding those vehicles, despite an abundance of law enforcement who can be seen in news footage chatting and milling about.
SWAT sniper(s) (easily identified by their weaponry, balaclava, and subdued BPD patches) — instead of milling about the main entrance to the mall laughing and chatting with other equally idle law enforcement — should have been posted on the roof to observe and report / act upon any suspicious / threatening activity in the area of Macy’s.
In parting . . .
On the day of the MCI there should have been eight security officers on duty, but there were only three, because mall management (Brookfield Properties) and their security company (Professional Security Consultants) fail to pay, train, equip, and support their officers properly.
I escorted the shooter off of the property to the corner of Emerald and Milwaukee a week earlier when he was armed with four handguns (including at least one with a silencer) and enough ammo to start a war, yet for whatever reason, Brookfield Properties and / or Professional Security Consultants disapproves of and does not utilize the tools developed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) that may have helped avert this preventable tragedy.
In My Opinion . . . Boise Towne Square does not take the safety and security of their tenants and the public seriously and I have advised my friends and family to avoid it at all costs as I and other security officers have since resigned, and all of the extra security visible in the days immediately following the shooting was entirely theater and is already long gone, having returned to Iowa, Utah, Nebraska, and California, where they were brought in from.
Rest in Peace, Jo Acker — Hero.
EDITOR NOTE–The GUARDIAN welcomes a response from both the Boise PD and the Mall management. The police post action review is ongoing, but the GUARDIAN has unofficially been informed that only one Boise officer discharged his weapon, the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot, the SWAT team was never activated in the brief period the incident unfolded, some officers not assigned to the call “self deployed” which added to the chaos.
Based on what we have learned the guardian does not anticipate any charges being filed and if there is any redeeming value in the two tragic deaths, it will be increased training, organized response and procedures the next time violence erupts in a public place.
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