Colorado mass shooting witnesses describe terrifying moment gunman opened fire: "At that point, it was just run"

10 dead in Colorado market shooting
10 dead in Colorado market shooting 04:25

New details are emerging about the terrifying moment a gunman opened fire inside of a Colorado supermarket on Monday and killed 10 people.

The shooting in Boulder is the second mass shooting that has taken place in the U.S. in less than a week — eight people were killed in shootings at three Atlanta-area spas last Wednesday.

One of the 10 victims was police officer Eric Talley, who had served with the Boulder Police Department since 2010. 

The 51-year-old veteran cop was reportedly the first to respond to the scene at a King Soopers. Dozens of community members gathered for a procession to honor Talley, who leaves behind a wife and seven children.

Witnesses described the scene as complete chaos when the shooting broke out. Police said they began receiving calls about shots fired at a King Soopers market around 2:30 p.m. local time.

A livestream of the shooting appeared to show victims inside and outside of the building as witnesses scrambled to find safety. 

Boulder resident Anna Haynes, who lives directly across from King Soopers, said she initially didn't realize the loud noise she had heard were gunshots until she looked outside her window.

"I didn't realize they were gunshots at first.  Then I looked outside to see what it was and witnessed the beginning of the shooting from my window," she told CBS News' Omar Villafranca. "He was on one of the handicap ramps going up to the entrance of the King Soopers, and he was shooting down at something, which I believe was another person. And after he was done shooting, he ran inside the building."

Inside the store, Ryan Borowski said no one knew what was going on. He and others decided to run after the third shot was fired and escaped through the supermarket's cargo bay.

"I heard one loud bang. I thought somebody just dropped something, an employee or something, and then another. And then by the third one, everybody was running," Borowski said. "At that point, it was just run, get out of there and tell everybody to leave. And that's what we had to do."

Newlyweds Neven and Quinlan Sloan were also inside the market when they heard gunshots. The couple believes they were the first to get out, with Quinlan saying he helped people exit from the back of the store.

"I was like dang this guy could come out and start shooting these guys. I want to make sure they're as far away as they can be," he said.

Steven McHugh's son-in-law and grandchildren were getting a COVID-19 vaccine at King Sooper's pharmacy, where they hid for more than an hour as law enforcement swarmed the area.

"The shooter came in, shot the woman in front of them. They hid, ran upstairs and were hiding in a coat closet," said McHugh. "Half a dozen cops came in through the roof, got them and told them 'Stay quiet.' And they're okay."

Several people who had been sheltering inside the King Soopers were escorted out by officers.

SWAT vehicles, at least three medical helicopters and hundreds of police responded to the scene. One of the first to arrive was Officer Talley.

His sister Kirstin expressed her grief in a tweet hours after the shooting, saying that her "heart is broken" and that she "cannot explain how beautiful he was."

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold praised Talley's "heroic action" on Monday night.

Authorities said the suspect, who has been identified as 21-year old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa from Arvada, Colorado, is in custody and injured. A man was brought out of the store in handcuffs Monday afternoon, but authorities have not confirmed if it was the suspect. Officials have not mentioned a possible motive for the attack.

The suspect, who is hospitalized but in stable condition, was charged with 10 counts of murder.

Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse on Boulder shooting 05:05

Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse said he was "heartbroken by the loss of life" in an appearance on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday and described the harrowing event as "a devastating night."

"It's devastating. It was a devastating night last night," he said. "It was a tough night for Boulder, for Colorado, for our country."

The shooting hit close to home for Neguse, a Colorado native who has lived in Boulder for decades and is now raising his toddler daughter there. The congressman said he hopes to enact change through legislation with his colleagues on Capitol Hill.

"Like many Americans, I feel a great deal of frustration and anger right now. It does not have to be this way," said Neguse. "Enough is enough and it's time to take action. I'm certainly going to be pushing with my colleagues in Congress to make that happen."

He's hopeful that the community will ultimately come together to uplift one another in the face of gun violence.

"The Boulder community is strong, it is resilient, it is kind," he said. "I know that we will ultimately come together to support each other and to support our community during this difficult time."

Mass shootings have been a part of life in Colorado since the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

The state is also where the Aurora movie theater shooting took place in 2012, the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood killings in 2015, and a shooting at a Walmart location in 2017.

A 2019 analysis by the Denver Post found that Colorado ranks fifth in the country for mass shootings.