A gunman opened fire inside a King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday afternoon, killing 10 people, including a police officer who was first to respond to reports of shots being fired at the grocery store.
Police arrived at the scene after receiving reports of an active shooter at the grocery store just before 3 p.m.as customers and employees ran for cover after hearing a series of loud bangs. According to law enforcement officials, the suspect carried out the attack with an AR-15 assault rifle and is now in n custody. His identity has not yet been released.
Video footage from the scene showed a maskless man in boxers, handcuffed, bleeding down his leg as he is escorted out of the building by police officers. Officials have not yet confirmed whether he was the suspect but stated that the suspect was being treated for injuries.
Was the Shooter an Anti-Masker?
Some social media users considered the possibility that the shooting may have been triggered by a dispute over the store's enforcement of its face mask policy.
"King Soopers in Boulder requires customers to wear a mask. Was a shooting there today. A man was arrested, maybe shooter, wasn't wearing a mask. I seriously hope this doesn't end up being anti-masker violence. This country is so insane that this possibility has to be considered," wrote New York Times bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald.
"I'll go out on the limb and speculate a mask incident escalated," a user chimed in, while another commented, "My fear is the shooter may've been anti-mask and that was the motive
While it is true that King Soopers enforces a strict face mask policy, as required by the Colorado mask mandate, there is no evidence to support the claim that the shooting occurred over a face mask dispute. The motive behind the deadly attack is not yet known and is currently under investigation.
Eyewitnesses Account of Shooting
Moreover, according to an eyewitness, the shooter did not say anything before opening fire inside the grocery store.
"He just came in and started shooting," one of the customers who was buying pizza at a self-checkout counter inside the store told The Denver Post. His friend added that the gunman "let off a couple of shots, then was silent, and then he let off a couple more. He wasn't spraying."
Anna Haynes, 21, told The Daily Beast that she was looking out her window when she saw a man shoot someone on a ramp into the grocery store. A graphic live feed from the store appeared to show at least three motionless bodies at the scene, two in the parking lot and another inside the market as gunshots can be heard in the background, suggesting that the shooter opened fire before entering the store.