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'This Cannot Be Our New Normal:' Colorado Officials React To Boulder Mass Shooting

Yesterday’s mass shooting was personal for many of Colorado’s elected officials, including Gov. Jared Polis, a longtime resident of the city. Polis said he has shopped at King Soopers on Table Mesa frequently.

 

 

Speaking in front of a patrol vehicle belonging to Boulder police officer Eric Talley, who was killed while responding to the attack, Polis called the shooting a horror and terror for the entire state.

 

“This is a pain that we need to sit with,” he said. “We can't let ourselves ever become numb to the pain because we simply can't let this be accepted as anything close to normal occurrence.”

 

Police have identified a 21-year-old Arvada man as the suspect in the killing of 10 people at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder. A prosecutor said he lived most of his life in the U.S. Authorities also identified nine victims after previously identifying the police officer who had been killed. The victims were men and women who ranged in age from 20 to 65.

 

U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse, D-Boulder, is calling for gun reforms in the wake of the deadly shooting.

 

“This cannot be our new normal,” he said. “We should be able to feel safe in our grocery stores. We should be able to feel safe in our schools, in our movie theaters and in our communities. We need to see a change because we have lost far too many lives.”

 

Neguse said Boulder police officer Eric Talley died protecting the Boulder community. He said his service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

 

Meanwhile, Colorado state lawmakers are also weighing in. Many gave tearful and emotional speeches this morning.

 

State Rep. Judy Amabile, of Boulder, read the names of the 10 victims on the House floor. She said she knew one victim from a store she would shop at on Pearl Street.

 

“She’s gone now. I’m so sad for them and their families,” Amabile said.

 

Amabile also called on lawmakers to enact changes in the wake of the shooting.

 

“We have to speak with our actions,” she said. “We have to make it easier to get mental health services than it is to get a gun. We have to address our culture of violence. We have to be loud, not silent.

 

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.
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