Monday’s horrific mass murder at a supermarket near Boulder, Colorado has left America stunned. Unlike so many previous mass murders, this incident had an individual live-streaming video of the incident just moments after it began. This public video provides valuable lessons for those seeking to learn from what took place.
It took over four minutes for the first responding officers to reach the King Sooper grocery store near Boulder after a spree killer began his rampage in the parking lot. During that time, the killer hunted people throughout the store.
At the same time, people at the entrance milled around in a state of confusion or ignorance of the imminent, obvious danger lurking within the building.
Reports indicate the killer, armed with a police patrol-type rifle according to some witnesses, wore body armor and had a scanner with which he listened to police radio traffic. At one point, reports say cops moved their traffic to an encrypted radio channel as the killer monitored police communications and laughed at them.
Thanks to a live-streamed YouTube video, we have a timeline for the incident. Frankly, the Boulder PD doesn’t look very impressive in their response to the active shooter call.
Ten minutes in, lots of officers had arrived donning heavy armor and sporting long guns, but only a few officers made entry. The rest remained far away from the entrance while shots rang out inside the store.
Twenty minutes after the initial calls, police used an armored car to bash a hole in the front of the store. However, cops didn’t have the success they hoped for. They still didn’t make entry to neutralize the killer and provide aid to the wounded bleeding out.
Thirty minutes into the incident, police edged closer to the entrance using shields, but still offered no obvious aggressive response to root out the killer.
At forty-five minutes, heavily armed police got on the store’s roof thanks to a fire department ladder truck. Shots can still be heard from inside the store in the video. Meanwhile, innocents wounded inside bled and bled some more.
Finally, at fifty-seven minutes, cops perp-walked the handcuffed suspect out of the building.
We really don’t know how much longer it took before paramedics were permitted to enter to render aid to the injured.
The bottom line: The video showed a great deal of confusion in the initial moments of the attack. Especially with oblivious or stunned people loitering near the entrance of the store.
One thing remains certain: if you find yourself in a horrific situation like this, it’s a poor time to fire up your phone and live-stream what’s happening. And unless you chose to engage the killer, you probably should keep your gun holstered so as not to be confused with the murderer(s).
With the gun out, not only do you have to worry about the shooter(s), but also fellow CCWers who might mistake you for the bad guy, along with responding police officers. At the same time, if someone had shot this crazed killer early in his rampage, fewer people would have been killed or wounded.
If you don’t need to be shooting, you can still save lives by helping the injured. Applying some basic knowledge of how to care for gunshot wounds or other serious injuries until professional EMTs arrive on scene can save lives, too. If you haven’t received any training, Stop the Bleed seminars are excellent and offered nationwide.
Once again, caring for the wounded should take precedence over live-streaming and internet fame.
We’ll say it again: the only thing that stops rampaging lunatics with evil in their hearts is one or more good guys with guns.
While we know this, others in Washington and in many states will no doubt use this tragedy to launch a new push to ban America’s favorite rifle. Bank on it, folks. Gun control is coming.
Meanwhile, until and unless they ban your preferred daily carry, (legally) pack your gun every day even when you don’t think you’ll need it. With decent situational awareness and some fundamental tactics, your sidearm will make you a lot harder to kill while allowing you to protect and defend innocent life.
This post had mentioned online reports of a possible concealed carrier who was in the store at the time of the shooting. Those reports could not be verified and this post has been updated to remove those references.