(BOULDER, Colo.) — A shooting at a Colorado supermarket killed multiple people Monday, including a police officer, and a suspect was in custody, authorities said.
Boulder police Cmdr. Kerry Yamaguchi said at a news conference that a suspect was being treated but didn’t give more details on the shooting or how many people were killed. Officers escorted a shirtless man with blood running down his leg out of the store in handcuffs but authorities would not say if that was the suspect.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said authorities know how many people were killed and suggested they are not releasing the number because they need to notify families of the victims.
Yamaguchi said police were still investigating and didn’t have details on motive.
A man who had just left the store in Boulder, Dean Schiller, told the Associated Press that he heard gunshots and saw three people lying face down, two in the parking lot and one near the doorway. He said he “couldn’t tell if they were breathing.”
Video posted on YouTube showed one person on the floor inside the King Soopers store and two more outside on the ground, but the extent of their injuries wasn’t clear. What sounds like two gunshots are also heard at the beginning of the video.
One person was taken from the shooting scene 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 did say that “we have been notified we will not be receiving any additional patients.”
Law enforcement vehicles and officers massed outside the store, including SWAT teams, and at least three helicopters landed on the roof in the city that’s home to the University of Colorado and is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Denver.
Some windows at the front of the store were broken. At one point, authorities over a loudspeaker said the building was surrounded and that “you need to surrender.” They said to come out with hands up and unarmed.
Sarah Moonshadow that two shots rang out just after she and her son, Nicolas Edwards, finished buying strawberries. She said she told her son to get down and then “we just ran.” Once they got outside, she said they saw a body in the parking lot. Edwards said police were speeding into the lot and pulled up next to the body.
“I knew we couldn’t do anything for the guy,” he said. “We had to go.”
James Bentz told the Post that he was in the meat section when he heard what he thought was a misfire, then a series of pops. “I was then at the front of a stampede,” he said.
Bentz said he jumped off a loading dock out back to escape and that younger people were helping older people off of it.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tweeted a statement that his “heart is breaking as we watch this unspeakable event unfold in our Boulder community.” He called it “very much an active situation” and said the state was “making every public safety resource available to assist the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department as they work to secure the store.”
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Boulder police had told people to shelter in place amid a report of an “armed, dangerous individual” about 3 miles (5 kilometers) away from the grocery store but later lifted it and police vehicles were seen leaving the residential area near downtown and the University of Colorado. They had said they were investigating if that report was related to the shooting at the supermarket but said at the evening news conference that it wasn’t related.
The FBI said it’s helping in the investigation at the request of Boulder police.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting.
In a statement, the King Soopers chain offered “thoughts, prayers and support to our associates, customers, and the first responders who so bravely responded to this tragic situation. We will continue to cooperate with local law enforcement and our store will remain closed during the police investigation.”
Kevin Daly, owner of Under the Sun Eatery and Pizzeria Restaurant a block or so from the supermarket, said he was in his shop when he saw police cars arriving and shoppers running from the grocery store. He said he took in several people to keep them warm, and others boarded a bus provided by Boulder police and were taken away.
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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