Headlines March 29, 2021

Headlines March 29, 2021

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Healing in Community Continues after Shootings

The community’s healing after last week’s shootings at a King Soopers store on Table Mesa Drive in Boulder continued over the weekend. Ten people died a week ago today in the worst killing in Boulder County history. In Boulder on Saturday night, many residents stepped outside their homes and took ten deep breaths, and stood silently for ten minutes to honor the ten victims. Denver 7 reports that some headed to the memorial of flowers outside the store where the shooting occurred.

Earlier in the day, hundreds, if not thousands of people, stopped by that memorial many of them families with children, And many shed tears and others stood in silent prayer

On Saturday in Longmont people gathered at Sixth and Main Street to remember the lives of those who died. Some there carried a message demanding action for gun reform, with one sign saying “Enough already.”

About 100 people gathered for a candlelight vigil Sunday in Lyons to honor those who died.

Motive in Boulder Shootings Still Under Investigation

Law enforcement officials continue to investigate the two firearms used by the suspect at the King Soopers shooting a week ago today. Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said Friday that they are also looking into other firearms that may be connected to the suspect who has been charged with 10 counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

The D.A. spoke along with Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold at a press conference outside the Police Department and in front of a memorial for officer Eric Talley who was one of those killed.

Chief Herold said they are still searching for a motive for last week’s massacre:

Herold: “Like the rest of the community we too want to know why, why that King Soopers, why Boulder, why Monday. And unfortunately at this time we still don’t have those answers. The firearm used by the suspect in King Soopers on March 22 is a semiautomatic Ruger AR 556 pistol. It was legally purchased in a gun store in Arvada Colorado. The defendant was also in possession of a 9-millimeter handgun, but at this time we do not believe that gun was used in this incident.”

Herold said 26 law enforcement agencies have been working around the clock to investigate the mass shooting. Denver 7 reports that authorities conducted 156 interviews, collected 223 tips and leads, and gathered about 20 digital media devices over four days.

Union at King Soopers Store Complained about Security

Meanwhile, the union representative for some of the workers at the King Soopers where the shooting occurred says there were problems with the store’s security. CBS4 reports that the United Food and Commercial Workers representative wrote to the food chain last week after the shootings.

At a grievance meeting about three weeks ago workers talked about a partially obstructed fire exit. The representative said there was a concern expressed then about an active shooter situation that might occur at a different store in Boulder. As part of negotiations under the collective bargaining agreement at the Table Mesa location, the union asked King Soopers to have armed security guards at every store, however, the union says the grocery chain rejected the idea.

The union wants King Soopers to communicate better moving forward, including how employees will return to work, how they will be compensated for the time the Table Mesa location remains closed, and how the company will handle mental health for employees.

State COVID Positivity Rate Increases Slightly

Colorado Governor Jared Polis will give an update this morning on the state’s response to the COVID pandemic and vaccinations. As of yesterday, there are 323 people hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state. The seven-day average of positivity has increased slightly to close to 4 percent. Positivity is an important indicator of the status of the pandemic in the state. The World Health Organization recommends that the positivity rate be lower than 5 percent.

Nearly 1,600,000 people in Colorado have received at least one dose of vaccine with close to one million being fully vaccinated.

Denver School Board Member Tay Anderson Accused of Sexual Assault

Over the weekend, Denver activist and school board member Tay Anderson denied that he sexually assaulted a woman. On Friday, Black Lives Matter 5280 issued a statement saying a woman approached the group in February and said Anderson had sexually assaulted her. The group did not name the woman or release details of the alleged assault but said Anderson is not welcome at their meetings or events until he takes certain steps to be accountable.

The Denver Post reports that Anderson said yesterday he would cooperate with any investigation into the allegations of sexual assault and misconduct made against him.
During a news conference, Anderson said he could not fully address the claims without more details of the alleged incidents.
Three former members of Never Again Colorado–a now-disbanded youth organization for gun reform that Anderson led–told The Denver Post they witnessed sexual misconduct by Anderson including unwanted compliments and unwelcome sexual advances.

Rally in Denver Saturday Supporting AAPI

On Saturday in Denver, people gathered at the state Capitol to rally against violence toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities. The Denverite reports that hate crimes against people of AAPI descent, were already higher last year and have now become an urgent national concern after eight people were shot in Atlanta a few weeks ago.
U.S. Representative Jason Crow, who represents Aurora was at the rally Saturday and said he has been reaching out to the AAPI and Muslim community. Crow described last week’s events and those of the past year as “mass trauma.”