Boulder, Colorado police, armed with protective gear and rifles, responded Monday to reports from an active shooter at a King Soopers supermarket.
It wasn’t clear if there had been any injuries or deaths. The Boulder Daily Camera said at least one person was hospitalized.
The FBI office in Denver tweeted that it was assisting the investigation into the shooting at the request of the Boulder Police.
The Boulder Police Department sent an alarm at 2:49 p.m. local time so people could stay away from the grocery store area.
At one point the authorities were overheard over a loudspeaker telling someone that the building was encircled and saying “You must surrender” and come out with hands raised and unarmed.
At 4:18 pm, police reiterated the warning to avoid the area – “this is still a very active scene” – and urged residents to stay inside and “not post any tactical information on social media that you are possibly see “.
A shirtless man with blood on his leg was handcuffed out of the store by two police officers, a live TV feed showed. An ambulance drove out of the shop and apparently carried the man.
A man who had just left the Boulder store, Dean Schiller, told The Associated Press that he heard gunfire and saw three people lying face down, two in the parking lot and one near the door. He said he “couldn’t tell if they were breathing.”
James Bentz, 57, told the Denver Post he was in the meat section of the supermarket when gunfire rang out. After hearing what he thought was a misfire, he heard several bangs and “I was at the head of a rush back then.”
The video of a television helicopter showed police vehicles and officers gathering outside, including SWAT teams, and at least three helicopters on the roof of the store in the southern part of Boulder, about 25 miles northwest of Denver.
The officers had drawn their guns outside and some windows at the front of the shop were broken. TV footage showed officers bringing two people to safety.
Hours later, Boulder police tweeted that people should “seek shelter while responding to a report from an armed dangerous person,” about 3 miles from the store in a residential area near downtown and the University of Colorado.
Colorado governor Jared Polis said he was monitoring the situation. “My prayers are with our Coloradan colleagues at this time of sorrow and grief as we learn more about the extent of the tragedy.”
Expressing remorse, Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said, “Our community will soon be grieving for our losses.”
The shooting takes place six days after eight people – six of them women of Asian origin – were killed by a shooter in three spas in Atlanta and a nearby county.
Colorado was previously the site of high-profile mass shootings, including the Columbine High School attack in 1999 that killed 13 people – excluding the two suicides – and the 2012 attack at an Aurora theater that left 12 dead.
The most infamous recent shooting at a U.S. supermarket occurred in August 2019 when a gunman targeting Latino shoppers killed 22 people and injured 26 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Contributor: The Associated Press