After the horrific mass shooting in Boulder last week, Douglas County leaders are offering messages of hope and healing to the community.
The March 22 shooting, which left 10 people dead, including a Boulder police officer, took place inside a Boulder King Soopers.
For many in Douglas County, the pain of such a violent event brings up memories of other close-to-home tragedies. In May of 2019, eight students were injured and one — Kendrick Castillo — was killed during a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch. In December 2017, a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy, Zackari Parrish, was killed in the line of duty.
“I think the whole community is in shock and horrified by what happened in Boulder,” said Sheriff Tony Spurlock. “Whenever there is a tragedy of this magnitude, it always brings back emotional issues from any agency that’s had anything difficult to deal with … I do think it’s a trigger that causes people to be more emotionally impacted by it.”
Spurlock encourages the community to take this time to talk with their loved ones about situational awareness.
“I think everyone should always be concerned about their safety no matter what,” he said. “People need to be cognizant of their surroundings.”
Other elected and appointed leaders from across the county have offered condolences to the victims and messages to the community in various statements following the event.
Commissioner Abe Laydon, Douglas County, during a March 23 board meeting:
“Our hearts are certainly heavy today as Douglas County commissioners as we acknowledge the tragedy that occurred in Boulder. We’re certainly extending our hearts and our prayers and thoughts to those that are directly impacted, which include all of the families, first responders and Coloradans that are processing what happened.”
Mayor Jeff Toborg, Parker:
“Our prayers go out to the Boulder community as they recover from the senseless acts of violence that rocked Boulder this week. The Town of Parker grieves with the families of the victims and offers our sincere support to the family of slain officer Eric Talley, and to Boulder’s entire law enforcement community, who daily put their own lives on the line to protect their residents and ensure safety.”
Mayor Jason Gray, Castle Rock:
“Our hearts go out to the survivors and the victims’ families. Our thoughts are with the Boulder community as we all try to make sense of this senseless tragedy. We are grateful for the first responders and brave heroes who acted quickly as the unspeakable event unfolded.
Mayor Jackie Millet, Lone Tree:
“Words cannot express the heaviness in our hearts today. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Boulder community, in particular the families of all the innocent lives lost in this senseless tragedy. The heroic service of fallen Officer Eric Talley will never be forgotten, and we look forward to justice for all the victims.”
David Ray, Douglas County School District board president, during a March 23 meeting:
“We also want to acknowledge the victims and survivors from yesterday’s horrific event in the Boulder community. We understand and share their pain and we mourn our 10 neighbors who were killed.”
Douglas County commissioners, joint statement:
“As the county recently impacted by the tragic loss of STEM hero Kendrick Castillo, our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and the entire Boulder community. As we continue our work to reestablish a sense of normalcy in these trying times and other crticial mental health solutions, we encourage you, if you need to talk to someone, to call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255.”
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