LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) - Police, U.S. Postal Service investigators and the FBI are on the hunt for clues and a killer in the death of a postal worker shot in broad daylight near mailboxes in the Somerset Meadows neighborhood Wednesday. The killing happened about 12:30pm as the worker labored at a set of mailboxes on Heatherhill Street by Renaissance Drive.
Investigators say a male suspect was seen running away. That suspect was reportedly last wearing dark clothing, a hooded sweatshirt and a blue mask.
Officers used a police canine to look for the suspect, but they were not successful.
Jeff Satur, Deputy Chief of Police Services with Longmont police, says the suspect approached the employee and shot them multiple times. The employee died at the scene.
Police used canines to search and told several local schools to shelter in place. Students stayed inside with doors and windows locked to outside entry. It was lifted about 2:45.
David Rupert, communications manager of USPS in Colorado, says the shooting has impacted the federal agency deeply.
"You see us in your neighborhoods. We see your children grow up," said Rupert. "We become part of your family, too."
Grief counselors are now helping other employees. Rupert says this is an isolated incident, but had few other details about the situation.
Michael Dougherty, Boulder County's District Attorney, urged the public to talk to police if they know something about the crime or know where the suspect is.
There was no suggestion of a motive. Federal investigators are involved because the killing involved a postal worker, and it may be a federal crime. Wednesday night Longmont Police said it had not yet been established which authority state or federal might handle the case.
After the scene cleared neighbors retrieved their mail and one woman brought flowers.
"It's so sad this poor person was just doing their job," said neighborhood resident Sedira Stager. "You're in a peaceful area, beautiful neighborhood, you would never think once that this would happen to you."
She said she'd had many wonderful conversations with mail carriers there. There is no information out yet on the victim.
"I'm really just heartbroken for them just doing their daily job."
One delivery driver working the neighborhood told us he had, "never really had encounters on the street or anything like that." Chase Marshall added, "It's definitely a shame too that this happened, whatever the reason."
"This is very unusual for our community," Satur said.
Those who saw what happened, have surveillance video or know more about the crime are asked to call Longmont Police Services at 303-651-8501.
for more features.