Colorado leaders react to King Soopers shooting in Boulder

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Police work on the scene near a King Soopers grocery store where a shooting took place Monday, March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

COLORADO — State and local officials in Colorado have released statements following the shooting at King Soopers in Boulder on Monday.

Governor Jared Polis

Polis spoke at a press conference Tuesday morning. Watch his remarks:

The governor released this statement Monday night:

“Today, ten lives were tragically lost, including Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley. Officer Talley served more than ten years with the Boulder Police Department and tragically lost his life at the age of 51 while working to save the lives of others. 

And tonight, the families of these victims, our fellow Coloradans, my neighbors, are hearing the devastating news that their loved one who simply woke up and went to work this morning, or who ran out to pick up eggs, won’t be coming home. Our community anxiously awaits more information on the victims, hoping it’s not our friends, coworkers and neighbors but knowing in our tight knit community it will be, and even if we don’t personally know them, we all mourn their senseless killing and our sense of safety in our local grocery store. 

This year we have all been surrounded by loss of life, illness and isolation, and the deep grief that has accompanied the loss of life as we knew it. As spring sprung this weekend, and vaccines continue to get into arms, lightness creeped back in only for the darkness to descend on us again today. Today we saw the face of evil. I am grieving with my community and all Coloradans.”

Congressman Joe Neguse

Neguse spoke at a press conference in Boulder Tuesday. Watch his remarks:

The congressman released this statement Monday night:

“Today’s events are simply devastating. Like my fellow Coloradans, my heart is heavy, in grief and in anguish.  Andrea and I are heartbroken, and we are praying tonight for our entire community in Boulder — for the victims and their families—including a police officer who tragically lost their life in the line of duty— for the survivors, for the frontline grocery store employees, and for the brave first responders and local law enforcement whose heroism truly saved lives. And we offer our heartfelt condolences to the many families mourning their loved ones. The loss of life is truly heartbreaking and unimaginable. 

I’ve lived in Boulder County for nearly two decades. My wife was born in Boulder. And we both know this — our community is strong, it is kind, and it is resilient, and we will come together and support each other during this tragedy. In the difficult days ahead, I will continue to work with law enforcement and state authorities to ensure they have the resources they need, and we stand ready to assist our community in this moment of tremendous sadness. Our office is available to provide resources and answer questions, and we encourage our constituents to utilize the mental health resources available in Boulder County, including those detailed below. You can also learn more about these resources by contacting our office: (303) 335-1045. We are with you as we heal together from this tragedy.

While there is still a lot we do not yet know, one thing is very clear — tragic incidents of gun violence have plagued our country for far too long.

Twenty-one years ago, as a young student in Douglas County, I joined many Coloradans in weeping for the victims of the terrible massacre at Columbine High ten minutes from my high school. Two years ago, I felt the fear that so many Coloradans experienced learning of the shooting at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, where my niece — a kindergartner — was locked down, as we all wept at the tragic loss of life. And tonight, I weep for the families of my constituents, who have tragically lost their lives in yet another mass shooting.

Enough is enough. 

Americans should feel safe in their grocery stores. They should feel safe in their schools, their movie theaters and in their communities. While Congress dithers on enacting meaningful gun violence prevention measures, Americans — and Coloradans — are being murdered before our very eyes — day after day, year after year.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are steps we can take — and must take — to protect our community; common-sense, broadly supported proposals that will save lives. If we are truly invested in saving lives, then we must have the willpower to act and to pass meaningful gun reform. The time for inaction is over.” 

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet

“My heart goes out to the families of the Coloradans, including a Boulder police officer, whose lives were tragically taken by a senseless act of gun violence. I am deeply grateful for the swift response from law enforcement and first responders. As the investigation continues, we need to revisit a national conversation about gun violence that does not regress into partisanship. It’s long past time for Congress to take meaningful action to keep deadly weapons out of the wrong hands. There are steps that the overwhelming majority of Americans want us to take. And they have every right to expect us to finally do something about gun violence in our country. Enough is enough.”

Colorado U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper

“Our state grieves tonight as we mourn ten more Coloradans senselessly killed by gun violence – including police officer Eric Talley. Our thoughts are with the victims’ loved ones, and we are grateful to the frontline workers and first responders whose bravery saved lives.

“We all share Boulder’s pain – pain that hits home. Columbine, Arapahoe, Platte Canyon, STEM School Highlands Ranch, Planned Parenthood, Aurora – and now Boulder. More needs to be done to prevent dangerous weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Enough is enough.”

Colorado Springs Police Department

Colorado State Patrol

Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Kim Cordova, President of UFCW Local 7, which represents more than 17,000 grocery workers in Colorado and Wyoming, including the 32 who were on shift at the King Soopers when the shooting happened:

“Today our community experienced a senseless act of violence that caused an unnecessary loss of life in Boulder’s vibrant community. It is with deep sadness we mourn the victims and their families who have lost loved ones today, including the heroic Boulder police officer who died in the line of duty. We are forever grateful to the grocery workers, customers, and the first responders who acted swiftly to prevent even greater loss of life–protecting our members and all those in danger inside the store. 

“This senseless act of evil also highlights and shines a light on the best of human nature. There are news reports that after gunshots rang out, grocery workers helped customers in the store find safety, directing shoppers to an exit at the back of the store, and assisted one another to escape the danger inside. 

“No one should have to fear for their lives while they grocery shop or go to work every day. Unfortunately, our grocery members, frontline Essential Workers, have lived in fear each and every day during the pandemic. These workers have risked getting COVID-19 to make sure shelves were stocked and communities had access to food and other essential services. As COVID-19 cases increased, and colleagues fell ill and some died, they continued to go to work, even as they faced COVID-19 workplace hazards, as well as hostile customers including verbal and physical attacks by unstable members of the public. 

“For the last year our members and other associates have fought an invisible enemy, COVID-19, but today several innocent souls were killed by an evil human. We call on government officials and employers to do more to protect our members and communities from the constant threat of violence.”

“Local 7 continues to monitor the situation as details become available.”

The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Marc Perrone:

“As the union for the brave Colorado grocery workers caught in the crossfire of this tragic shooting, UFCW is heartbroken and our prayers are with our members, their families, and the loved ones of all the victims. We are deeply thankful to the grocery workers, customers, and first responders whose courageous actions helped to prevent even more lives from being lost.

“Every day of this pandemic, grocery workers have been bravely putting their health at risk on the frontlines of COVID-19 to keep our families fed. This shooting is a tragic reminder that the pandemic is not the only threat our communities face. 

“Protecting essential workers and the families they serve must be the first priority of corporate and elected leaders. UFCW is calling for an immediate investigation into this shooting, urging Governor Polis and Colorado leaders to work with law enforcement at the federal, state, and local level to determine how this happened. The victims and their families deserve answers and need to know that our leaders are doing all they can to prevent future tragedies like this from endangering even more of our country’s brave essential workers.”

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