Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman is all too familiar with the pain that comes with a mass shooting taking place in her community, and she says that two police officers from Boulder, Colorado were in Aurora on Monday when a gunman opened fire at a supermarket in their hometown.
According to Ziman, the officers were in Aurora attending a training session Monday when news of the shooting broke.
“They knew in that moment that they had an officer down, and several people shot, and that an automatic weapon was involved, but they had no other information,” she said.
Ziman says both officers rushed to the airport to catch flights back to Colorado so that they could be with their fellow officers.
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In all, 10 people were killed in the shooting, including a Boulder police officer. An investigation remains ongoing, and the alleged gunman is in custody and facing first-degree murder charges in connection with the shooting.
The incident hits close to home for Ziman, whose department was rocked in 2019 when a gunman opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora. Six people, including the gunman, died in the shooting, and five Aurora police officers were shot while responding to the scene.
Ziman says that she knows what the Boulder officers were going through, wanting nothing more than to be back with their colleagues in a challenging time.
“It’s the same reason why everyone came to the scene during our mass shooting, whether they were off-duty or out of town,” she said. “Everyone from our police department that could, that was able, drove to the scene. We had people in Indiana and Wisconsin that drove directly here because even if you know that you aren’t a part of the action at the scene, it still helps to be here and to be with all the people who are experiencing it.”
Ziman said that Monday’s shooting was another reminder of that tragic day at the Henry Pratt facility.
“Our shooting happened in 2019, and anniversaries matter,” she said. “We’re always reminded of this when another incident happens.”