Minnesotan Recounts Surviving Colorado Shooting

Two people who witnessed the Colorado shooting grew up in Minnesota. Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield shares how they were barely able to get away (2:28) WCCO 4 News At 5 - March 23, 2021

Video Transcript

MARIS HEROLD: I'm going to read the names of the deceased. Denny Strong, 20 years old. Neven Stanisic, 23. Rikki Olds-- The Boulder police chief today read the names of all 10 people who were killed. The victims range in age from 20 to 65, including the 51-year-old police officer. Two people who witnessed the shooting grew up in Minnesota. Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield shows us how they were barely able to get away.

SUSAN-ELIZABETH LITTLEFIELD: For Minnesotans Brian and Erin Kruesi, this was the dream-- to live in Colorado. And two months ago, they made it happen.

BRIAN KRUESI: And you're just surrounded by active lifestyle people, out and about and friendly, walking their dogs.

SUSAN-ELIZABETH LITTLEFIELD: But Monday, they were surrounded by tragedy. 10 people killed, including an officer, at the grocery store right across the street from their home. The store Brian was in.

BRIAN KRUESI: I had my shopping cart full of stuff, and as I was leaving the exit, I heard loud explosions. I looked up, and that's when I saw the gunman, right in front of me, really, in the parking lot. And he was shooting across, what I now know was, at the other doorway, that I didn't exit.

It was one of those things where I knew it was bad. The type of rifle he had, I knew that anyone that he was aiming at would probably be dead. Had I left 10 seconds earlier, I probably wouldn't be here today.

SUSAN-ELIZABETH LITTLEFIELD: Brian ran out the back door, warning others to leave. One of the other shoppers was a University of Colorado freshman from Bemidji.

ROBERT SAXTON: He was in the grocery store. He had some things in his arms. A cop burst in, told him to run.

SUSAN-ELIZABETH LITTLEFIELD: His father, who is an emergency responder himself, watched as the victims were named and the officer honored.

ROBERT SAXTON: I don't know if that's the police officer that got killed, but it may have been. Either way, he saved our son's life.

SUSAN-ELIZABETH LITTLEFIELD: And so like the rest of the nation, the Minnesotans on the front lines are trying to grasp what is gone.

BRIAN KRUESI: I just want to say I feel so lucky right now. Like I said, slight changes could have ended much, much worse for me.

ROBERT SAXTON: It's just too much. And we shouldn't have to live like this. America shouldn't have to live like this.

SUSAN-ELIZABETH LITTLEFIELD: Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield, WCCO 4 News.