Boulder: A 21-year-old man faces 10 counts of murder in connection with a mass shooting at a Colorado supermarket, but his motive remains unclear, authorities say.
The suspect was in a stable condition after he suffered a leg wound in an exchange of gunfire with responding police officers at the King Soopers outlet in Boulder, about 45 kilometres north-west of Denver, on Monday afternoon, local time.
Police stand guard outside a King Soopers supermarket where a mass shooting took place.Credit:AP
The 10 victims, whose names were released at a Tuesday morning news conference, range in age from 20 to 65 and include Eric Talley, an 11-year veteran of the Boulder police force. Talley, 51, was the father of seven children and had recently been looking for a less dangerous job, according to a statement released by his father.
Authorities have not yet offered a possible motive for the bloodshed, which came six days after a gunman went on a killing spree in the Atlanta area, fatally shooting eight people at three day spas before he was arrested.
Killed: Officer Eric Talley was first on the scene.Credit:Boulder Police/AP
“It would be premature for us to draw any conclusions at this time,” Michael Schneider, the agent in charge of the FBI’s field office in Denver, said at a news briefing about a possible motive for the killings.
The suspect lived in Arvada, a Denver suburb, and investigators said they were confident he had acted alone.
Monday’s attack drew hundreds of police officers to the scene and sent terrified shoppers and employees fleeing for safety. The massacre added to the Rocky Mountain state’s tragic list of mass killings, including the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora and the 1999 rampage at Columbine High School near Littleton.
“My heart aches today,” Governor Jared Polis told the briefing. “Not only did we lose 10 lives, but this is real horror and terror for all of us.”
Witnesses in Colorado described a chaotic and frightening scene inside the store.
Ryan Borowski, 37, went in looking for something to satisfy a sugar craving. He had picked out a 12-pack of soft drink and a bag of chips when he heard shots ring out, sending him scurrying for the store’s back exit.
“It was pretty terrifying,” he said. “Fastest fire drill I’ve ever been in.”
Sarah Moonshadow, 42, was at the checkout line with her adult son, Nicholas, when the gunfire began.
“And I said, ‘Nicholas, get down’ And Nicholas ducked. And we just started listening and there, just repetitive shots … and I just said, ‘Nicholas, run’,” she said.
Moonshadow said she tried to attend to a victim she saw lying on the pavement outside the store, but her son pulled her away, telling her, “We have to go”. She broke down in sobs recounting their ordeal, adding, “I couldn’t help anybody.”
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