This article originally ran Sept. 23, 1997.
Mark Stall decided to become a police officer after being kidnapped and threatened with murder at age 16.
Stall, the 29-year-old Boise policeman killed Saturday in a shootout between police and two armed brothers, was described by family Monday as a stickler in enforcing the law.
"They always teased each other," Nancy Stall said of her four children. "Mark was so straightforward. He said he'd give them tickets if he saw them driving too fast."
Surviving the kidnap-murder attempt shaped his personality.
"He purposefully chose police work," said Jeff Nelson, Stall's uncle.
About 20 family members and friends gathered midday Monday at the parking lot on 15th and Idaho streets, where Stall was killed.
Other Boiseans came to the parking lot throughout the day to bring flowers.
Standing near the spot of the violence that ended Stall's life brought back memories to his family of the violence that invaded his teen years.
Then, Stall and a friend were forced at gunpoint into their pickup late one night by a man who stopped to ask them to light his cigarette.
"They were in mortal danger," Nelson said.
The 29-year-old assailant took them into the hills above Palo Alto, Calif. He was about to shoot Stall's companion when the boy deflected the gun and took a bullet in the leg.
"As the gun went off and hit the first boy in the leg, it jammed," said Nancy Stall, Stall's mother, in a telephone interview.
Stall jumped out of the truck and the two wrestled the man to the ground, fighting for control of the gun.
The man kept shouting "I'm going to kill you," said Nancy Stall. "They tried to get the gun away."
Stall and his friend got hold of the gun and the man ran into the woods.
He was captured a year later.
Nancy Stall didn't listen to the tape of the shootout that ended her son's life 13 years later.
"The kids wouldn't let me, she said.
At the makeshift memorial Monday, Stall's brother, Matt, knelt at a white cross and brushed away tears.
"I just lost a friend, a brother and one heck of a guy," he said. "He'll be missed."
The Stall family faith - they're Baptist - has helped them through the pain of Stall's death.
"My faith is extremely strong," Nelson said. "This is why Christ died, to solve this problem."
Ed Schmitt, owner of Anvil Iron Works in Meridian and a former Nevada sheriff's deputy, donated the cross that now sits at 15th and Idaho.
"It could have been me," he said. "It could be my family without a husband or a father."
Part of the Stall's faith is a strong family bond.
"We're a family who still sticks together," Nancy Stall said. "That's what we wanted. We're very concerned with families who are losing each other."
As the family huddled in prayer, 4-year-old Shannon Beebe brought flowers to lay at the cross.
She didn't know Stall, she said. "But I'm best friends with policemen."