By EMILY SHAPIRO, IVAN PEREIRA and JEFFREY COOK, ABC News
(BOULDER, Colo.) — Ten people, including a police officer, were killed in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday afternoon when a gunman opened fire at a King Soopers grocery store, where residents had gathered to shop and to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
The victims range in age from 20 to 65, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said.
The slain officer, 51-year-old Eric Talley, was the first member of law enforcement to arrive on scene, where he was fatally shot, Herold said.
The 21-year-old suspect suffered a leg wound and was taken into custody at 3:28 p.m., the chief said.
The suspect, who was hospitalized in stable condition, has been charged with 10 counts of murder, Herold said. He will be taken to the Boulder County Jail once he is released from the hospital, which is expected on Tuesday, Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty said.
The chief said she lives several blocks from the store.
“I feel numb. And it’s heartbreaking,” she said.
“The loss of life is truly heartbreaking and unimaginable,” Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse said at a Tuesday news conference.
“We need to see a change because we have lost far too many lives,” he said.
Matthew Kirsch, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado, pledged that “the full weight of federal law enforcement” will support the investigation.
Dougherty said Monday, “These were people going about their day, shopping, and their lives were cut abruptly and tragically short by the shooter who is now in custody. I promise the victims and the people of Colorado that we will secure justice.”
Talley had been a member of the Boulder Police Department since 2010.
“He took his job as a police officer very seriously,” Talley’s father, Homer Talley, said in a statement to ABC News.
— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) March 23, 2021
Officer Talley was a father of seven.
“The youngest is 7 years old,” Homer Talley said. “He loved his kids and his family more than anything.”
Talley’s father said the late officer joined the police force when he was 40 years old and recently started training to be a drone operator so he could get a job to keep himself off of the front lines.
“He didn’t want to put his family through something like this,” Homer Talley said.
The incident unfolded Monday afternoon, as the Boulder Police Department took to Twitter at 2:49 p.m. local time to warn residents of an “active shooter” and tell them to stay away from the area.
Eyewitnesses shared videos from the parking lot of the shopping center on social media, showing officers ordering a suspect to come out of the King Soopers grocery store with his hands up and surrender. Eyewitness videos from inside the supermarket show shoppers and employees trying to flee or hide.
Andy Arellano, who works at the King Soopers store in Boulder, told ABC Denver affiliate KMGH that he was concerned for his colleagues and shoppers as gunshots rang out.
“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. “And that, that bothers me, I’m still shivering, I’m still shaking.”
Andrew Hummel told KMGH that he was at another store in the same shopping center when he heard the shots, prompting him and others to run out.
“Everybody kind of sprinted toward the back of the store,” Hummel added.
Hummel said his roommate works at the King Soopers grocery store where the shooting took place and hid in a storage room with some customers, texting updates to Hummel and others.
“I think one of the biggest scary text[s] that he sent he just said, ‘I love you guys, like thank you for everything, in case, like, things go bad,"” Hummel said. “That was a really hard text … that’s something that I would never want to hear from any of my friends, because I knew the seriousness of what was going on and I was horrified. It was truly horrifying.”
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted Monday night. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has also been briefed, an official with the U.S. Department of Justice told ABC News.
Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley said in a statement, “The Department of Justice expresses its deepest sympathies to the families of all of those who lost their lives in this heinous attack, including the family of Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley.”
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement, “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.”
“This year we have all been surrounded by loss of life, illness and isolation,” he continued. “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.”
The King Soopers supermarket chain and its parent company, Kroger, released a joint statement Monday evening, offering “thoughts, prayers and support to our associates, customers, and the first responders who so bravely responded to this tragic situation.”
“We will continue to cooperate with local law enforcement and our store will remain closed during the police investigation,” the statement added.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.