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Gunman In Colorado Kills 10 People At Boulder Grocery Store


The first thing to know about a mass shooting in Colorado is that it is early, and not all the facts are in. The story can change, as we have learned from far too many other mass shootings. What we know for certain as of now is that a gunman opened fire at a supermarket and killed 10 people before police took him into custody. The first name we have learned of a victim was a police officer who responded, 51-year-old Eric Talley.

Colorado Public Radio photojournalist Hart Van Denburg was on the scene yesterday afternoon and is on the line. Good morning.


INSKEEP: What did you see when you arrived?

VAN DENBURG: I saw a massive police presence surrounding the supermarket, the shopping center where it's located in southern Boulder, helicopters in the sky, drones, SWAT vehicles, lots of police wearing heavy armor and carrying some pretty heavy artillery.

INSKEEP: And I believe, did you not also see people being evacuated from that scene?

VAN DENBURG: That's right. When I got to the scene, they were starting to pull buses up near the parking area and was able to watch a number of people get escorted across the parking lot, loaded into the bus, and even was fortunate to catch a couple being reunited right before they got on the bus and caught in an embrace.

INSKEEP: So talk us through the narrative. What happened in what order?

VAN DENBURG: So according to the police, what happened was, sometime before 3 o'clock, an officer responded to shots being fired at this supermarket. And one of the police officers, the man who died, was one of the first people in the building. When shots started ringing out, people started streaming out of the supermarket, not only through the front but through the back loading docks. And a number of people took cover inside the supermarket as well.

INSKEEP: So at the end of this, the suspect is somehow captured by police but not unharmed.

VAN DENBURG: No. So the aerial video shows the man being led away. He's wearing pretty much nothing but a pair of shorts, bearded, and he's bleeding from one leg. But other than that, the police have said nothing more about him.

INSKEEP: We don't know the name. We don't know his motive or alleged motive. We do know that along the way, he seems to have killed a police officer, officer Talley. That's the name that we know among the victims so far. What's known about him?

VAN DENBURG: Well, very little, but at the moment, two things stand out. One, officer Talley is the father - was the father of seven children and a husband. And there's a very touching story here that people are recirculating now, that back in 2013, he was among a small group of Boulder officers who made headlines after a duckling rescue from a drainage ditch.

INSKEEP: I'm just thinking about that, the range of a policeman's duty, from something charming like that to ending your life in a parking lot on a moment's notice. People must be stunned where you are.

VAN DENBURG: People were stunned. There was an enormous crowd outside the police perimeter looking on and with a lot of people talking about how this was - nobody wanted to think of this as how we were going to return to life after a pandemic. It was a pretty shocking event.

INSKEEP: Hart Van Denburg of Colorado Public Radio. Thanks.

VAN DENBURG: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Hart Van Denburg
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