Ten people were shot and killed on Monday when an unidentified gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. According to authorities, a suspect is in custody after being injured during the shooting, but they are still unsure of what prompted the attack.
Around 2.30pm on Monday, shoppers and employees ran for cover and some escaped through the back of the King Soopers supermarket, which is part of a large shopping centre a few miles south of the University of Colorado campus. A witness who posted a live video from the scene not long after the shooting began said he heard about a dozen shots and three people injured. Two of the people injured were in the car park, while one was inside the supermarket. The first officer who was on the scene was also shot and killed.
“These were people going about their day, doing their food shopping, and their lives were cut abruptly and tragically short by the shooter, who is now in custody,” Boulder County district attorney Michael Dougherty said at a news conference on Monday night.
Investigators have revealed few details about the gunman other than that they have a suspect in custody and he has been injured. Videos of the massacre show a handcuffed man being escorted from the building by police officers. His right leg appears to be covered in blood, but the nature of the suspect’s injuries was unclear.
Among those who were killed, Eric Talley, a Boulder police officer, is the only person to have been identified so far. Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold credited Talley for his bravery as the first on the scene, calling his actions “heroic” during a press conference. “My heart goes out to the victims of the incident and I’m grateful for the police officers who responded,” she said. “I am so sorry about the loss of Officer Talley.”
On Twitter, Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado said he was following the events as they unfolded. “My prayers are with our fellow Coloradans in this time of sadness and grief as we learn more about the extent of the tragedy,” Mr Polis said before the death toll was announced.
The shooting comes less than a week after a white gunman shot and killed eight people across three different Atlanta massage parlors. And, on Sunday, another gunman opened fire at a Philadelphia "pop-up" party, killing one man and injuring five others. However, unlike the Atlanta killings — which have sparked a national call to end violence against Asian Americans — it is unclear so far if this was a racially motivated attack. Still, many advocates are calling for immediate gun reform policies as a result.
"This past weekend it was a house party in Philadelphia. And last week it was an armed attack on Asian American women in the Atlanta area," former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who is a shooting survivor, said in a statement. "This is not normal, and it doesn't have to be this way. It's beyond time for our leaders to take action."
US Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, also called for a national gun violence conversation and nonpartisan action. "It's long past time for Congress to take meaningful action to keep deadly weapons out of the wrong hands," he said.
"People in America shouldn’t have to worry about getting shot while shopping for groceries, working a job, going jogging, worshipping, driving home, watching a movie, walking to school, or sleeping," Everytown for Gun Safety posted on Twitter Monday. "And politicians owe us #MoreThanThoughtsAndPrayers to end our gun violence crisis."