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Teens Reportedly Hid In Coat Closet During Mass Shooting At Boulder Grocery Store

Steven McHugh said his two granddaughters, ages 13 and 14, were at the King Soopers store with their father to get a COVID-19 vaccine when gunfire erupted.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Colorado Shooting G

Two teen girls hid in a coat closet with their father for an hour during a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado on Monday that left 10 people dead.

Steven McHugh told local outlet KUSA that his two granddaughters, age 13 and 14, had gone with their father to the King Soopers location in Boulder to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at the pharmacy that day. When the shooting began, the girl’s father “got [them] down” and they ran upstairs, where all three hid in a coat closet – “in the coats” – for an hour until the police came in through the roof and rescued them, McHugh said.

Before they were rescued, the teens were able to use their father’s phone to communicate with their mother, he said.

“They were communicating with my daughter through his phone, texting, and then the cops came in through the roof, protecting them,” McHugh said.

McHugh said that what happened was “traumatizing” for the girls. 

“This is going to be pretty hard for them to live with, I think,” he said.

Officers with the Boulder Police Department were called to the King Soopers at around 2:40 p.m. in response to reports of an active shooter, police said in a statement. The afternoon shooting left 10 people dead, including one police officer Eric Talley. A lone suspect was taken into custody after an exchange of gunfire; Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a 21-year-old Arvada resident, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and is expected to be transported to the Boulder County Jail, police said Tuesday.

“Our hearts go out to all of the victims killed during this senseless act of violence. We are committed to a thorough investigation and will bring justice to each of these families,” Police Chief Maris Herold said. “The Boulder community is strong and compassionate, and I know we will come together to take care of each other during this time.”

The ages of the victims of Monday’s shooting range from 20 to 65. Talley, the police officer, was the first to respond to the scene on Monday, according to the Associated Press. The 51-year-old had been with the Boulder Police Department for over 10 years and leaves behind seven children, whose ages range from 7 to 20, KUSA reports.

A motive for the shooting has not yet been disclosed. President Biden is expected to address the nation at some point on Tuesday, according to the White House YouTube channel.

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