A shooting at a crowded Colorado supermarket that killed ten people, including the first police officer on the scene, terrified shoppers and staff and shocked a state that has seen many mass shootings. Authorities confirmed that one suspect had been apprehended.
Hundreds of officers from around the Denver metro area responded to the attack on a King Soopers supermarket in a busy shopping plaza in southern Boulder on Monday afternoon. SWAT officers with protective shields entered the store cautiously, while others immediately escorted scared customers away from the broken glass. Customers and workers took refuge in a back loading dock. Others sought shelter in nearby stores.
A tearful Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold announced late Monday that one suspect had been apprehended. The suspect was not identified by authorities, but Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said he was the only one injured and was being treated.
During the siege, officers escorted a shirtless man in handcuffs from the shop, blood streaming down his leg. Authorities refused to state whether he was the perpetrator. Foothills Hospital in Boulder was treating one victim of the shooting but declined to comment further, according to Rich Sheehan, a spokesperson for Boulder Community Health, the hospital’s operator.
“For Boulder County, this is a disaster and a nightmare,” Dougherty said. “These were people going about their business, doing their shopping,” says the narrator. I assure the victims and the citizens of Colorado that justice will be served.”
Eric Talley, 51, had been with Boulder police since 2010. Herold named the slain officer as Eric Talley. After responding to a call about shots fired and someone holding a rifle, he was the first to arrive, she said.
“He was one of the best officers in the Boulder Police Department by all accounts, and his life was cut far too short,” Dougherty said.
After nightfall, scores of police and rescue vehicles followed an ambulance carrying the officer away from the shooting site, their lights flashing. Some residents saluted by standing along the route with their arms raised.
The identities of the other nine victims were withheld while police notified their families.
Dougherty said it was too early to speculate about a motive and that the investigation, which would include local, state, and federal agencies, would take several days.
The assault in Boulder, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Denver and home to the University of Colorado, shocked a state that had previously experienced mass shootings such as the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting.
According to a database collected by The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University, Monday’s midafternoon attack was the seventh mass killing in the United States this year, following the March 16 shooting that left eight people dead at three Atlanta-area massage businesses.
According to the database, which monitors mass killings identified as four or more dead, not including the gunman, there was a lull in mass killings during the pandemic in 2020, with the fewest such attacks in more than a decade.
As Dean Schiller heard gunshots, he said he had just left the store. He saw three boys, one in a doorway and the other two in the parking lot, lying face down. Schiller said that he was unable to determine whether or not they were breathing.
When Sarah Moonshadow and her son, Nicolas Edwards, heard gunshots, they had just purchased strawberries. They ducked and “just ran,” Moonshadow told The Denver Post. Outside, arriving officers, according to Edwards, pulled up next to a body in the parking lot.
He admitted, “I knew we couldn’t do anything for the man.” “We had no choice but to leave.”
One individual was seen on the floor inside the store and two more outside on the ground in a video posted to YouTube. At the start of the video, you can hear what sounds like two gunshots.
Investigators had just recently begun digging through the crime scene and interviewing witnesses, according to Dougherty. The investigation will be supported by “the full weight of federal law enforcement,” according to Matthew Kirsch, the acting US attorney for Colorado. Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, as well as FBI agents, were at the crime scene, he said.
President Joe Biden had been briefed on the incident, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. Meanwhile, Gov. Jared Polis issued a statement saying, “Today we saw the face of evil.” I’m mourning for my neighbors and all Coloradans.” In a statement, the King Soopers chain said it was sending prayers and help to “our employees, customers, and first responders who so bravely responded to this terrible situation.”