Ten people were killed, including a police officer, after a gunman walked into a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday and began randomly shooting shoppers.
The officer, Eric Talley, 51, an 11-year veteran of the Boulder police force, was the first officer to arrive at the King Soopers grocery store Monday afternoon, police Chief Maris Herold said. He had been dispatched after gunfire was reported, she said.
Herold provided no details about the other victims. She said a suspect who was injured in the shooting is in custody. She didn’t provide details about a potential motive.
Earlier, a police commander, Eric Yamaguchi, said there was no ongoing threat. He said it was unclear if the person had a connection to King Soopers.
Dean Schiller said he was outside the store when he heard gunfire and saw three people who appeared to have been injured. Two were outside, he said. The other was inside.
An employee from the store told him a shooter was inside.
Logan Smith works at a Starbucks inside the grocery store. He told NBC’s “TODAY” show that a customer ran into the store just before 2:30 p.m. and said there was an active shooter in the parking lot. Smith said he ran outside, heard gunshots and went back inside to call 911.
“And then shooting began inside,” he said.
Smith said he helped his co-worker hide in a corner behind trash cans at the Starbucks kiosk. He then found a trash can he could hide behind but it didn’t offer much protection because he’s 6 feet, 5 inches tall.
“I was definitely in a life-threatening situation if the shooter came to the kiosk,” he said.
Smith said two of the victims were his co-workers.
Newlyweds Neven and Quinlyn Sloan said they were grocery shopping when shots rang out. In an interview with the “TODAY” show, Quinlyn Sloan said she was by the dairy area when she heard what sounded like “bangs” coming from outside.
Initially, she didn’t think the sounds were gunshots. “Then it got louder and there was like a bunch of bangs in a row,” she said.
Neven Sloan, who was in another part of the store, came to find his wife and helped her get outside. He then went back toward the store to help get other people to safety.
“I felt God compel me to go back,” he said. “There was another guy sitting by the emergency exit. His name was Michael. He was really sweet and really brave. And there were two older women that were trying to get out. I just wanted to go back to help them and help Michael get those two ladies out.”
Another shopper, Sarah Moonshadow, said in a tearful interview that she was at the checkout line with her son when she heard multiple shots. As the pair started running, the gunman shot toward them, she said.
“We just kept going,” she said. “We just ran.”
Moonshadow said she saw someone lying on the road and her son pulled her away and told her that they had to get somewhere safe. The mother and son hid behind a building, Moonshadow said.
Another man told NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver that his granddaughters had gone with their father to the store to get vaccinated against Covid-19. He said they hid inside a coat closet for an hour until authorities entered through the roof and rescued them.
“This is heartbreaking,” he said.
Live video from outside the King Soopers showed SWAT vehicles and dozens of police officers, many in tactical gear and camouflage, around the store. Some of its front windows appeared to have been shattered.
A man with his hands behind his back could be seen leaving the store with authorities. It wasn’t clear whether the man, who was wearing no shirt or pants and had blood streaming down his leg, was the person of interest.
Several minutes later, a line of people who appeared to have been inside the store could be seen leaving surrounded by officers.
A spokesperson for the grocery store said the company was “horrified by the senseless violence.” The governor of Colorado, a state that has endured multiple mass shootings, called the latest incident an “unspeakable tragedy” and said he was “closely watching the situation.”
“I’m incredibly grateful to the brave men and women who have responded to the scene to help the victims of this senseless tragedy,” Gov. Jared Polis said.
A White House official told NBC News that the administration was monitoring the situation. The official said they expect that President Joe Biden will be briefed again Tuesday morning.
The president was due to leave the White House on Tuesday afternoon for a pair of events in Columbus, Ohio, as part of the “Help is Here” tour promoting the American Rescue Plan.
The official said there is “no change” in the president’s travel plans “as of now.”
Vice President Kamala Harris called the shooting “an absolute tragedy.”
“It’s 10 people going about their day, living their lives, not bothering anybody,” she said. “A police officer who is performing his duties, and with great courage and heroism.”