Boulder shootings and a time for reflection

Column by Mary McFerren
Posted 4/6/21

Usually I think of the six weeks of Lent, which began on Ash Wednesday, as a time of reflection, almsgiving and prayer. I then think of Easter, which this year will fall on April 4, as a time of hope …

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Boulder shootings and a time for reflection

Posted

Usually I think of the six weeks of Lent, which began on Ash Wednesday, as a time of reflection, almsgiving and prayer. I then think of Easter, which this year will fall on April 4, as a time of hope and joy. This is what I had planned to write about.

But last Monday, March 22, at 3 p.m. I saw police cars and ambulances racing down the highway near my house, sirens blaring. I called my husband to make sure he was all right and went home. At 6 p.m. my husband and I turned on the Channel 655 to watch Jeopardy.

Instead of the game show, what we saw was what looked like hundreds of police cars around a King Soopers in Boulder. The TV reporter explained that they didn’t have any details, but someone had seen bodies on the ground, and that a shooter had been inside the store on Table Mesa.

“Oh no!” I said.

My heart raced. I once worked at a drugstore on Table Mesa when I was 18. The next year as a sophomore at the University of Colorado, I got my start as a reporter at the Colorado Daily. That was then, but now I have many friends and business associates in Boulder. The Boulder Bookstore on the Pearl Street Mall stocks my memoir and I know many of the staff.

When they announced 10 people were dead including a Boulder Police Officer, tears filled my eyes.

My cousin has a daughter who is a Boulder cop. Was she a victim? The news reporter on TV said the names of the victims would not be released until the next day after families had been notified.

I called my daughter in California and told her what had happened. I also called a close friend in Boulder and felt comfort talking with her. She was safe but some mutual friends might live near that King Soopers she said.

“I can’t believe we were just having lunch in Boulder yesterday, “ I said to my husband.

“I drove by that King Soopers an hour before this happened,” he said.

The next morning, the victims were identified, with their photos. Many so young, in their twenties! How sad.

The first Boulder police Officer to respond to the shooting was Eric Talley, 51, the father of 7 children. He bravely entered the store and was shot to death by the crazed killer.

Chuck Wexler, who serves with the Police Executive Research Forum, said, “Ultimately this is what differentiates police officers from everyone else. Sometimes they have to prepare to lose their lives to save others.”

That statement reminds me of Easter — a man, Jesus Christ, the son of God, prepared to face death to save others, to show them how to live and die.

Police Officer Eric Talley did not hold back when he knew people were in danger. He entered the King Soopers and saved others at by the sacrifice of his life.

Mary McFerren is a journalist, author and writing facilitator. For more information on her zoom writing class go to her website marystobie.com or contact her at mry_jeanne@yahoo.com.

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