King Soopers worker, 27, says she narrowly escaped the gunman's while a barista describes the moment he hid his co-worker, 69, behind trash cans to keep her safe from the shooter who killed 10 people

 An employee of the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, has revealed that she narrowly escaped the gunman's notice as a barista working at the Starbucks in the supermarket described the moment he hid his co-worker behind trash cans to keep her safe from the gunman who shot dead 10 people on Monday.  

Emily Giffen, 27, was smoking outside the store Monday during a break when she heard multiple loud pops that she knew were not fireworks. She said she saw a man running across an intersection suddenly fall over and another man approach him in a crouch and fire several rounds at close range.

'I don't know how he didn't see us,' she said of the attacker, who walked right by her before she ran into the King Soopers store and out the back. 

Newly fallen snow made people trip and slip as they tried to escape, she said, showing a large bruise on her arm that she said happened when someone stepped on her. 

'I just really am having a hard time understanding why me and my friends deserve to die,' she said, wondering why the gunman chose to target the Boulder store specifically. 'It doesn't seem personal, so I don't quite get why we pulled that lottery ticket.'

Logan Ezra Smith, 20, also described a harrowing scene, telling CNN that he was working at the store's Starbucks kiosk when a customer screamed about a shooter in the parking lot. 


Emily Giffen (pictured), 27, was smoking outside the store Monday during a break when she heard multiple loud pops. She said she saw a man running across an intersection suddenly fall over and another man approach him in a crouch and fire several rounds at close range

Emily Giffen (pictured), 27, was smoking outside the store Monday during a break when she heard multiple loud pops. She said she saw a man running across an intersection suddenly fall over and another man approach him in a crouch and fire several rounds at close range

Logan Ezra Smith (pictured), 20, also described a harrowing scene, saying that he was working at the store's Starbucks kiosk when a customer screamed about a shooter in the parking lot. Smith said he hid his 69-year-old coworker behind trash cans and helped others escape

Logan Ezra Smith (pictured), 20, also described a harrowing scene, saying that he was working at the store's Starbucks kiosk when a customer screamed about a shooter in the parking lot. Smith said he hid his 69-year-old coworker behind trash cans and helped others escape 

King Soopers employees are led away from an active shooter on Monday

King Soopers employees are led away from an active shooter on Monday 

Boulder shooting survivor recounts terrifying moments inside store
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Smith said he went outside and tragically witnessed two people get shot. 

He then scrambled back inside, called 911 and hid his 69-year-old coworker under a counter before placing trash cans in front of the opening. 

'Maybe it's who I am, but as a grocery store employee, customers come first for me. It's customers and my coworkers. I was willing to sacrifice myself and death was something I accepted already,' Smith told CNN. 

'My belief is she's older than me, she's my elder, so I must protect her.'

In addition to helping his co-worker, Smith also said he helped other customers escape through the back entrance before going to hide behind a trash can at the Starbucks kiosk. 

He recalled the gunman walking within 10-15 feet of their hiding place, saying: ''One of the scariest parts about it all was the silence throughout the store, because I did not hear him say one word.

'Basically, it was silence from the very beginning. All you could hear were gunshots, and then the store music and automated messages.'

More than 500 people bundled in masks and wool hats attended a downtown candlelight vigil Wednesday night to mourn the victims

More than 500 people bundled in masks and wool hats attended a downtown candlelight vigil Wednesday night to mourn the victims

People gather in during a candlelight vigil at the Boulder Courthouse in Boulder, Colorado on Wednesday to honor the victims killed on Monday

People gather in during a candlelight vigil at the Boulder Courthouse in Boulder, Colorado on Wednesday to honor the victims killed on Monday

Giffen and Smith shared their stories on Wednesday as families mourned the dead and multiple law enforcement agencies pressed ahead with what they said would be a monthslong investigation. 

Officials hadn't released new details on that investigation by late Wednesday.

The 21-year-old suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, has been jailed and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday morning on 10 counts of murder charges. No lawyer was listed for Alissa in court records.

More than 500 people bundled in masks and wool hats attended a downtown candlelight vigil Wednesday night to mourn the victims. 


They observed a moment of silence; violins soothed the crowd; and a woman sang 'Ave Maria' as candle flames flickered in the crisp air.

Other community vigils were planned to honor the victims. The Boulder Police Department invited the public to show support for Officer Eric Talley, who was killed, by witnessing a police procession Wednesday as his body was taken from the coroner´s office to a funeral home in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

Red and blue lights flashed along a parkway as dozens of officers from Boulder and neighboring departments stood at attention. When the hearse passed, the officers saluted as one shouted, 'Attention!' One person held an American flag.

Talley, 51, was the first officer to arrive at the scene. He had seven children, ages 7 to 20.

A makeshift memorial is seen outside the King Soopers supermarket on Wednesday

A makeshift memorial is seen outside the King Soopers supermarket on Wednesday 

Officer Eric Talley, 51, was among the 10 who were killed on Monday. A procession is seen on Wednesday escorting his body to a funeral home

Officer Eric Talley, 51, was among the 10 who were killed on Monday. A procession is seen on Wednesday escorting his body to a funeral home 

The other victims were Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jodi Waters, 65.

Olds, Leiker and Stong worked at the supermarket.

Kim Cordova, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, which represents more than 30 store employees, said they did their best to get customers to safety.

'They grabbed everybody they could, and they brought them to the backroom or to other areas of the store to hide, or got them out through the back dock,' Cordova said.

On Facebook posts, Giffen also said her friends deserved better, not to die at work while doing their jobs.

The 21-year-old suspect, Ahmad Alissa (pictured), has been jailed and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday morning on 10 counts of murder charges

The 21-year-old suspect, Ahmad Alissa (pictured), has been jailed and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday morning on 10 counts of murder charges

'This guy, he went hunting in a barrel full of fish. Nobody was prepared to fight back. No one was even prepared to hide,' she said. 'It's just the fear like, where do you, where do I ever feel safe?'

Giffen, who said she has worked at the King Soopers for three years, described a close-knit community where she chats with customers and remembers their bagel orders from when she worked at a nearby bagel place.

On the neighborhood-based social media app Nextdoor, Giffen watched as people asked about her co-workers by name, listing them one by one to find out if they were all right.

'It was so beautiful to see all of these people who live right here with me actually acknowledge individual people´s names,' she said. 'They don´t just know us as their employees. We're a part of their community.'

The attack was the nation's deadliest mass shooting since a 2019 assault on a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman killed 22 people. 

It was also the seventh mass killing this year in the US, following the March 16 shooting that left eight people dead at three Atlanta-area massage businesses, according to a database compiled by the AP, USA Today and Northeastern University.

It follows a lull in mass killings last year during the pandemic.

The Colorado suspect bought a Ruger AR-556 pistol - which resembles an AR-15 rifle with a slightly shorter stock - on March 16, six days before the attack, according to an arrest affidavit.

Authorities have not disclosed where the gun was purchased.

According to two law enforcement officials, Alissa was born in Syria in 1999, emigrated to the US as a toddler and later became a US citizen. He would need to be a citizen to buy a gun. 

The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

An AR-15-style gun was recovered inside the supermarket and was believed to have been used in the attack, said a law enforcement official briefed on the shooting who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The law enforcement official said the suspect's family told investigators that he had delusions and that they believed he had some type of mental illness. 

The relatives described times when Alissa told them people were following or chasing him, which they said may have contributed to the violence, the official said.

King Soopers worker, 27, says she narrowly escaped the gunman's while a barista describes the moment he hid his co-worker, 69, behind trash cans to keep her safe from the shooter who killed 10 people King Soopers worker, 27, says she narrowly escaped the gunman's while a barista describes the moment he hid his co-worker, 69, behind trash cans to keep her safe from the shooter who killed 10 people Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:28 Rating: 5

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