During a virtual meeting hosted by CeaseFire PA on Tuesday, hundreds discussed gun violence, saying what happened in Colorado should be a wake-up call for Pennsylvania.
JIM GARDNER: It is Tuesday night, and the big story on Action News tonight is the latest on the mass murder in Boulder, Colorado.
- Guys, we got people down inside King Super's.
JIM GARDNER: Police have now identified all 10 victims, including the first police officer to arrive on the scene, 51-year-old Eric Telli, father of seven children. The other victims ranged in age from 20 to 65. The alleged gunman has been arrested and charged with 10 counts of murder. He is identified as 21-year-old Ahmaud Al-alusi Alissa. Authorities say he purchased the assault weapon he used yesterday just six days ago.
The shooting also happened 10 days after a judge blocked the city of Boulder's ban on assault weapons, on the basis that a Colorado law states that cities cannot make their own rules about guns. Let's go live to Action News reporter Tarhonda Thomas in Bala Cynwyd. And, Tarhonda, you have a view of this tragedy that is different from your colleagues here at Action News.
TARHONDA THOMAS: I do, Jim, because I used to go to that very grocery store when I was in Boulder. I lived in Colorado for 11 years. And today, I talk to some of my friends and colleagues out there, and they are just devastated, but they're not alone. People here in Pennsylvania and across the country are just in disbelief that something so heinous could happen at a grocery store.
- You've got enough going on worrying about, you know, catching COVID. Now you got to worry about going to your local supermarket?
TARHONDA THOMAS: A worry some shoppers never thought they'd have.
- We're living in a different world. It's just a totally different world now.
TARHONDA THOMAS: A world in which innocent people are shot at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.
- Why did this happen? We don't have the answer to that yet, and the investigation is in the very early stages.
TARHONDA THOMAS: Investigators say the shooter used an assault weapon. There's no ban on them in Colorado, or in Pennsylvania.
- It doesn't have to be this way at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh, and it certainly does have to be this way at a supermarket in Boulder. And it certainly doesn't have to be this way every single night on the streets of the great city of Philadelphia.
TARHONDA THOMAS: Cease Fire PA referencing the tragedy in Colorado during a virtual discussion with leaders trying to stop the violence in Pennsylvania.
- Last year, we saw more firearm related murders, more shootings, more mass shootings than in 2019.
TARHONDA THOMAS: Cease Fire is backing efforts for universal background checks, as well as measures to temporarily take guns from people in mental crisis, and a bill requiring owners to report lost or stolen guns. They hope all the efforts will become bipartisan in the wake of another tragedy that sent shock waves from Colorado to Pennsylvania.
- It's horrible, the things in this world. It shouldn't be like this. It shouldn't be like this.
TARHONDA THOMAS: Now you're noticing right now the flag, which is one of many that will be lowered to half staff in honor and remembrance of the victims, as ordered by President Joe Biden. We did reach out to the NRA for their comment on this situation. They have not returned our request for comment. We're live in Bala Cynwyd, Tarhonda Thomas, Channel 6 Action News.
JIM GARDNER: Thank, Tarhonda.