Ten people were killed Monday, including a police officer, when a gunman opened fire in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. This was the second mass shooting in the United States in a week.
“These were people who passed their day doing their shopping,” Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty said at a press conference that night. He described the day’s events as “a tragedy and a nightmare”.
The late police officer was identified as Eric Talley, 51, an 11-year-old veteran with the Boulder Troop. Talley replied to that King Soopers Food Market when he was shot down. His chief of police, Maris Herold, appeared to hold back tears as he spoke to the media Monday night and confirmed the death toll.
Boulder Police Commander Kerry Yamaguchi said a suspect had been arrested.
“There is no ongoing public threat,” said Yamaguchi. “We have a person who is interested in custody.” This person was injured in the incident and is being treated for the injuries. ”
No motive for the attack was disclosed. Matthew T. Kirsch, the United States’ first assistant attorney for Colorado District, said the FBI and other federal agents would be instrumental in the case. He promised that the “full weight of federal law enforcement” would be included in the investigation.
The shooting comes six days later eight people – six of them women of Asian origin – were killed by a rifleman in three spas in Atlanta and a nearby county.
The White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the attack on Monday and would be kept informed of developments. The FBI office in Denver tweeted that it was helping with the investigation at the request of the Boulder police.
Officers armed with tactical gear and rifles responded Monday afternoon to reports from an active rifleman at a King Soopers supermarket in southern Boulder, about 25 miles northwest of Denver.
At 2:49 p.m. local time, the Boulder Police Department tweeted an alert to keep people out of the vicinity of the supermarket.
At one point the authorities were overheard over a loudspeaker telling someone that the building was encircled and saying “You must surrender” and come out with hands raised and unarmed.
A shirtless man with blood on his leg was handcuffed out of the store by two police officers, a live TV feed showed. An ambulance drove out of the shop and apparently carried the man. It wasn’t clear if this man was the suspect, but Yamaguchi said no one was injured but him and those who died.
One person was moved from the location to Foothills Hospital in Boulder, said Rich Sheehan, spokesman for Boulder Community Health, which operates the hospital. Sheehan said he could not provide additional details but said that “we have been told we will not be receiving additional patients”.
At 4:18 pm, police reiterated the warning to avoid the area – “this is still a very active scene” – and urged residents to stay inside and “not post any tactical information on social media that you are possibly see “. The request for on-site protection was canceled around 6:40 p.m. Mountain Time.
King Soopers is a Denver-based subsidiary of supermarket giant Kroger. It operates more than 150 stores in Colorado and Wyoming. Kroger is based in Cincinnati.
After mass shootings elsewhere, Kroger asked buyers to leave their firearms at home in 2019. The policy change came a day after grocery competitor Walmart made a similar change. The previous policy has been to defy state or local gun regulations.
Dean Schiller, who had just left the Boulder store, told The Associated Press that he heard gunfire and saw three people lying face down, two in the parking lot and one near the door. He said he “couldn’t tell if they were breathing.”
James Bentz, 57, said the Denver Post He was in the meat section of the supermarket when gunfire rang out. After hearing what he thought was a misfire, he heard several bangs and “I was at the head of a rush back then.”
Video from a television helicopter showed police vehicles and officers gathering outside, including SWAT teams, and at least three helicopters on the roof of the store.
The officers had drawn their guns outside and some windows at the front of the shop were broken. TV footage showed officers bringing two people to safety.
Colorado governor Jared Polis said he was monitoring the situation. “My prayers are with our Coloradans at this time of grief and sorrow as we learn more about the extent of the tragedy,” he tweeted.
Expressing remorse, Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said, “Our community will soon be grieving for our losses.”
Greater Denver was besieged with some of the most notorious mass shootings in the country, including the 1999 attack on Columbine High School that killed 12 students and a teacher before the two killers committed suicide. The Columbine massacre, which occurred about 41 miles south of Boulder, was the deadliest shooting at the school in US history at the time.
In July 2012, James Eagan killed 12 Holmes at a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, about 35 miles southeast of Boulder. Holmes, who later received 12 life sentences in the murders, also injured 70 in the attack, which sealed doors in the cinema before carrying tactical gear to terrorize 400 people with a 12-gauge shotgun and two other weapons.
In May 2019, a student was killed and eight others injured in an ambush at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school in Douglas County, about 68 miles south of Boulder. One suspect has pleaded guilty to the case and another is awaiting trial in May 2021.
Contributors: Mike James; Alexander Coolidge, Cincinnati Enquirer; The Associated Press