Colorado Gov. Jared Polis told CNN that his state is still stunned in the wake of yesterday’s shooting at King Soopers supermarket in Boulder.
“This is just where everybody goes to pick up groceries, right? We have a few big grocery stores in town, like in most towns across the country, people go buy groceries,” Polis told CNN's Pamela Brown on the "The Situation Room" Tuesday. “Never ever does it cross your mind that that trip to the grocery store could be your last moments on earth. I think all of us are going to have those little flutters in our hearts as we go shopping next time, just recognizing what happened here in Boulder.”
The governor said he ordered flags throughout the state to be flown at half-staff for 10 days to honor the 10 victims in Monday’s shooting. He said he will speak with the families of the victims “when they’re ready to take the call.”
Polis also said he spoke with President Biden today after the President called for a ban on assault weapons and for Congress to pass two-gun control measures.
“We had a good conversation,” the governor said. “He expressed his condolences, He's seen a lot of loss in his life, including, of course, his son and his wife, and so many others. He's no stranger to loss.”
“He gave some comforting words to Colorado. To me, I think there will be a broad discussion about the policy side,” Polis continued. “We have, for instance, universal background checks in Colorado, but some of our neighboring states don't. I know Congress is looking at closing that loophole.”
“For now, we're really trying to do our best to comfort the families, the friends of the 10 people who are no longer with us,” he added.
Mike Malone, head coach of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, opened his Tuesday pregame media session by naming the victims of the Boulder shooting, breaking down into tears after doing so.
“I think we’re all tired of it. I think that’s an understatement,” a visibly distraught Malone said. He went on to continue and once again was driven to tears, pausing intermittently, saying, “We get judged on wins and losses. I apologize. We get judged on wins and losses, but if you take a step back and you put yourself in one of those families, what do you feel?”
Malone fought through his emotions and spoke further about Eric Talley, the Boulder police officer who was killed in the shooting.
“I think about Eric Talley and his seven kids,” Malone said. “That’s what I think about. I’m just heartbroken for them and everybody else. Hopefully we as a country, we as a state can find a way to be better.”
Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said that gun reform measures should be strengthened at the state and federal level after a mass shooting left 10 dead at a supermarket in his Colorado city.
“The real message is cities can't handle this problem. The rules need to come from the state and the federal level, so what I'll be sharing with the President — if I speak to him — is that we would really appreciate his support. And the interview he gave today indicates that he's with us and we really need everyone to make their voices heard at this time,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Earlier, President Biden called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban and tighten background checks.
The mayor said an assault weapons ban was passed in the city in 2018, but earlier this month, a Colorado district court judge blocked the city from enforcing its ban. Weaver added, “I'm not certain that if the ban had not been overturned that this killer would have made any different choices.”
While there are background checks and other measures in place in the state, “the results of yesterday's shooting show us that they are not strong enough,” Weaver said.
“I don't think they are sufficient, and they certainly weren't sufficient to prevent yesterday's tragedy,” Weaver said.
“The only positive thing to come out of this will be that our community will bond together and work through our pain, and then we'll look to the future and see if there are ways to prevent this from ever happening to another community,” he added.