‘My Heart Breaks For My Hometown’: Colorado Leaders React To Boulder Shooting

Joe Wertz/CPR News
Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold and acting U.S. Attorney for Colorado Matthew Kirsch speak to reporters at a press conference hours after the March 22, 2021 shooting that killed 10 people at King Soopers in Boulder, Colo.

As news of another mass shooting in Colorado began to spread Monday afternoon, Colorado politicians reacted with shock and remorse. Here is some of what they said.

Gov. Jared Polis

"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."

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, D

"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."

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Boulder

“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...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."

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Rifle

In a tweet:

"As we continue to hear the news coming out of Boulder, I’m praying for the police, first responders, and those affected by this tragedy. May God be with us as we make sense of this senseless violence, and may we unify and not divide during this time."

State Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder

In a tweet:

"Tragically, this is something that too many communities have gone through. No doubt we will get through this as a community. But tonight there's going to be a lot of pain for a lot of people. I'm sorry, but I don't have thoughts or prayers to offer; mostly anger."

State House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver

Garnett grew up in Boulder. Here's his tweet:

"My heart breaks for my hometown. Weeks ago as we debated a common-sense gun safety measure in the House, #COLeg was locked down because of a shooting. Today on the eve of another gun safety debate, a tragedy unfolds in Boulder. We can’t give in to the violent status quo."

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor

In a tweet:

"My prayers are with the families of the victims of today's tragedy in Boulder. I join the entire community of Boulder in grieving the senseless loss of life. I am grateful for the officers who responded to the scene within minutes. You are true heroes."

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D

In a tweet:

"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. Enough is enough."

State Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial

Sullivan's son Alex was killed in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. Here's his tweet:

"Simply don’t have the words and doing all I can to maintain the strength I will need to get through this day. We don’t have to live like this. We must do more!"

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs)

In a tweet:

"This is a horrible tragedy in Boulder, and our hearts go out to those who have suffered loss. We stand in awe of the heroic response by Officer Talley and have yet one more reason to admire our law enforcement in this country."

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