BOULDER, Colo. — A day after a gunman opened fire Monday at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., killing 10 people, the police had publicly identified just one of the victims, one of their own, a 51-year-old veteran officer.
A suspect, who had been injured, was taken into custody, the authorities said. Videos showed a handcuffed man being escorted from the building by officers, shirtless and with his right leg appearing to be covered in blood. People inside the grocery, King Soopers, in the South Boulder area, described a harrowing and chaotic scene.
“I thought I was going to die,” said Alex Arellano, 35, who was working in the meat department at King Soopers when he heard a series of gunshots and then saw people running toward an exit.
The authorities identified the officer who died as Eric Talley, who joined the department in 2010. Officer Talley was the first to respond to the scene when reports of a gunman came in, the police said.
“He was, by all accounts, one of the outstanding officers at the Boulder Police Department and his life was cut far too short,” said the Boulder County district attorney, Michael Dougherty.
The Boulder shooting came less than a week after a gunman shot and killed eight people — six of them women of Asian descent — at three spas in the Atlanta area. Until that shooting in Atlanta, it had been a year since there had been a large-scale shooting in a public place.
“Atlanta was a week ago and now it’s Boulder,” said Meredith Johnson, a 25-year-old Boulder resident, as she was walking on a sidewalk across the street from King Soopers.
“What is it going to be two weeks from now?” she said. “We’re looking at it right in front of us — it’s not just something you see on your feed anymore and unfortunately that’s just a common experience in America. And especially for our generation.”
Quinlyn and Neven Sloan, 21-year-old newlyweds, had stopped into the store to pick up supplies for beef stroganoff when they heard the shooting. Ms. Sloan, a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said that at first she didn’t recognize the noise.
The couple had split up in the store — he was in produce, she said, and she was standing in front of the dairy case — when customers began running.
“It was muffled at first,” she said, “and I thought maybe someone had dropped something, but then it went again, probably about 15 to 20 shots, really fast. My husband came up and shoved me out the door, and yelled, ‘Call 911!’ Then he ran back in to make sure a couple of older ladies who were in the aisles got out OK.”
Sprinting across the parking lot, she said, she hid behind a building, to be joined minutes later by her husband. Only then, she added, did they look down and realize that, because they hadn’t bothered to use a cart, they had fled with their arms full of the meat, noodles and sherry they had intended to buy.
“These were people going about their day, doing their food shopping, and their lives were cut abruptly and tragically short,” Mr. Dougherty said. “I promise the victims and the people of the state of Colorado that we will secure justice.”
Alex Arellano, 35, was working in the meat department at King Soopers when he heard a series of gunshots, and then saw people running toward an exit near his department.
“The shots are getting closer,” he recalled. “I’m thinking of my parents, and I was freaking out.” For a while, Mr. Arellano said he and two other men hid in the department. He said he did not see the assailant, but could hear the gunfire.
“We were scared cause, you know, there’s entry points where that individual could show up,” he said. “I thought I was going to die.”
Mr. Arellano and the other men eventually escaped through an exit in the back of the building, he said.
Sarah Moonshadow was at the checkout with her son, buying food while waiting for her laundry to be done nearby, when she, too, heard shots being fired.
“We ducked and I just started counting in between shots, and by the fourth shot I told my son, we have to run,” she said. As they were running, two shots were fired in their direction, she said.
When they made it out of the store, they saw a body lying in the road.
“I can tell that he wasn’t moving,” she said. “And so, I’m pretty sure he was gone. “And I just broke down across the street. I just couldn’t believe we were able to make it across.”
Ms. Moonshadow moved back to Boulder, her hometown, from Denver after she became concerned about Denver becoming unsafe. “I’m really surprised that it even happened here,” she said. “This isn’t how Boulder is, you know. This isn’t what happens here.”
Taylor Shaver, who works at Art Cleaners, a dry cleaning and laundry business near the supermarket, said in an interview that she heard at least 10 gunshots and saw people running from the grocery store.
“I’m in the bathroom hiding,” Ms. Shaver said. “I heard this loud boom. I instantly knew. There was a ton of shots. My stomach dropped.”
Ms. Shaver, 18, added that it was particularly unnerving because it was her first day working alone at the dry cleaning business. During a phone interview, she said she had left the bathroom to see what was going outside the business.
“Oh my gosh, you can see all these people walking with their hands up,” she said. “I’ve never seen this many police officers in my life.”
Jordan Crumby, a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said in an interview that she was about to get a tattoo with the word “warning” on her hip at Auspicious Tattoo, a shop across from the grocery store, when the shooting began.
“From here, I can see the window that is shattered,” she said. “Everyone is still on lockdown.”
Ms. Crumby, 31, said she stepped outside to record a video for her Instagram feed, when the police waved her away. In the videos, officers with tactical gear and rifles could be seen swarming the shopping center. People from the grocery store, she said, were being evacuated.
“They had their hands over their heads and they’re getting escorted out,” she said. “I said, ‘We should probably go inside.’”
Among the 10 people who died in the attack was Eric Talley, an 11-year veteran of the Boulder Police Department, who was described as “heroic” by Chief Maris Herold at a news conference at the scene of the shooting on Monday.
“He was the first on the scene, and he was fatally shot,” Chief Herold said, holding back tears. “My heart goes out to the victims of this incident. And I’m grateful to the police officers that responded. And I am so sorry about the loss of Officer Talley.”
“He was by all accounts one of the outstanding officers of the Boulder Police Department, and his life was cut far too short,” said Michael Dougherty, the Boulder County district attorney.
“He took his job as a police officer very seriously,” his father, Homer Talley, said in a statement. “He had seven children. The youngest is 7 years old. He loved his kids and his family more than anything. He joined the police force when he was 40 years old. He was looking for a job to keep himself off the front lines and was learning to be a drone operator. He didn’t want to put his family through something like this and he believed in Jesus Christ.”
On Twitter, a woman who described herself as his sister, Kirstin, posted: “Officer Eric Talley is my big brother. He died today in the Boulder shooting. My heart is broken. I cannot explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many. Fly high my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn color blindness). Soar.”
Law enforcement colleagues also praised him on social media. In a Facebook tribute that was later removed, Jeremy Herko, who described himself as a friend, also wrote of Officer Talley’s devotion to his family, community and Christianity.
“I cannot describe my level of devastation I feel right now,” he wrote. “My heart is heavy. So many things I would do differently. The person I was calling and messaging earlier, one of my best friends, died today in Boulder. He was the police officer killed. Eric Talley is his name, and he was a devout Christian, he had to buy a 15-passenger van to haul all his kids around, and he was the nicest guy in the world. I’ve known him since we went to the academy together, and we talked all the time. Please keep his wife and kids in your thoughts.”
In 2013, the local newspaper, The Boulder Daily Camera, featured Officer Talley and two other members of the force who had waded into a drainage ditch to rescue a trapped mother duck and 11 ducklings. “He was drenched after this,” Sgt. Jack Walker told the paper about Talley. “They would go into these little pipes and he would have to try and fish them out.”
Talley is the sixth on-duty death in the department’s history and the first officer killed in the line of duty since 1994, the paper reported.
As his body was taken by ambulance from the scene to the funeral home, a procession of emergency vehicles escorted it, and first responders stood by the side of Table Mesa Road, saluting.
The authorities have not yet released information on the other nine victims.