BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A shooting at a crowded Colorado supermarket that killed 10 people, including the first police officer to arrive, sent terrorized shoppers and workers scrambling for safety and stunned a state that has grieved several mass killings. A lone suspect was in custody, authorities said.
Hundreds of police officers from throughout the Denver metropolitan area responded to the Monday afternoon attack, converging on a King Soopers supermarket in a busy shopping plaza in southern Boulder. SWAT officers carrying ballistic shields slowly approached the store as others quickly escorted frightened people away from the building, some of its windows shattered. Customers and employees fled through a back loading dock to safety. Others took refuge in nearby shops.
One suspect was in custody, a tearful Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said late Monday. Authorities didn’t identify the suspect, though Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said the suspect was the only person injured and was receiving medical care.
Officers had escorted a shirtless man in handcuffs, blood running down his leg, from the store during the siege. Authorities would not say if he was the suspect. Foothills Hospital in Boulder was treating one person from the shooting scene but refused further comment, said Rich Sheehan, spokesman for Boulder Community Health, which operates the hospital.
It follows a lull in mass killings during the pandemic in 2020, which had the smallest number of such attacks in more than a decade, according to the database, which tracks mass killings defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter.
Dean Schiller said he had just left the supermarket when he heard gunshots. He saw three people lying face down — one in a doorway and two in the parking lot. Schiller said he couldn’t tell if they were breathing.
Sarah Moonshadow and her son, Nicolas Edwards, had just bought strawberries when they heard gunfire. Moonshadow told The Denver Post they ducked and “just ran.” Outside, Edwards said, arriving police pulled up next to a body in the parking lot.
Investigators had just started sorting through the crime scene and conducting witness interviews, Dougherty said. Matthew Kirsch, the acting U.S. attorney for Colorado, pledged that “the full weight of federal law enforcement” will support the investigation. He said investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the crime scene, along with FBI agents.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting. Gov. Jared Polis, meanwhile, said in a statement that “Today we saw the face of evil. I am grieving with my community and all Coloradans.” The King Soopers chain said in a statement that it was offering prayers and support “to our associates, customers, and the first responders who so bravely responded to this tragic situation.”
Associated Press writers Colleen Slevin and Jim Anderson in Denver contributed. Nieberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
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