A gunman killed 10 people Monday afternoon after opening fire at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. Little is known about the victims yet, other than one Boulder police officer, 51-year-old Eric Talley, was among the dead. The shooting started around 2:30 p.m. when witnesses said a man with a rifle entered the supermarket and without saying a word opened fire on customers. Details are still unknown about the shooter and the motive for the mass shooting, though the gunman was taken into custody and treated for minor injuries.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene in the supermarket, which sits 2 miles from the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus. The scene played out over several hours with local police lifting a shelter-in-place order at 5:41 p.m. local time. Two roommates told the Denver Post they were buying pizza at the self-checkout area when the shooter entered the store. “He just came in and started shooting” without saying a word, they said. Adding that the gunman “let off a couple of shots, then was silent, and then he let off a couple more. He wasn’t spraying.”
One grocery store worker, Alex Arellano, described hearing gunshots and scrambling to hide in the meat department, where he worked, with two others as the sound of gunfire approached. “The shots are getting closer,” the 35-year-old recalled in an interview with the New York Times. “I’m thinking of my parents, and I was freaking out.” Arellano was ultimately able to escape through the back of the building. “We were like sitting ducks, you know, and that’s one thing that I’m reliving it and looking at it in my head,” Arellano said in an interview later with Denver ABC affiliate KMGH. “And that, that bothers me, I’m still shivering, I’m still shaking.”
According to footage taken from livestreams at the scene and eyewitness accounts, law enforcement in tactical gear surrounded the small mall complex and customers were instructed to shelter in place. In one video, officers can be heard saying over a loudspeaker: “The entire building is surrounded. You need to surrender. … Come out with your hands up.” A video of the scene later showed police escorting a shirtless man wearing handcuffs from the building. Little is known about how the suspect was apprehended, other than he was wounded during the arrest, seen bleeding from the leg while being taken from the store by police, and was treated at an area hospital.
The mass shooting comes on the heels of last week’s shooting at several massage parlors in the Atlanta area that left eight dead. The Boulder shooting, CNN notes, is the seventh mass shooting in the U.S. in the last seven days. Colorado has seen a number of mass shootings in the recent past, including the 2012 Aurora shooting, where a gunman killed 12 and injured 70 in a movie theater rampage, as well as the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.