Was Boulder shooter an anti-masker? Social media speculates that King Soopers' mask policy may have triggered shooting

On social media, a theory is taking shape that the killings may have had something to do with the King Soopers' mask policy


                            Was Boulder shooter an anti-masker? Social media speculates that King Soopers' mask policy may have triggered shooting
Tactical police units respond to the scene of a King Soopers grocery store after a shooting on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colorado (Getty Images)

BOULDER, COLORADO: Ten people, including a police officer, were killed when a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday afternoon, March 22. But what led to the shooting. On social media, a theory is taking shape that it may have had something to do with the store’s mask policy.

Around 2:30 pm on Monday, at King Soopers grocery store a few miles south of the campus of the University of Colorado, shoppers and employees ran for cover as a man began shooting at people inside with an AR-15 assault rifle in a frenzied manner. As per the New York Times, a suspect was arrested after being injured during the shooting, according to the city’s police chief. Officials did not say what prompted the attack.

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Video footage from the scene reportedly showed a maskless man in boxers, handcuffed, bleeding down his leg as he is escorted out of the building by police officers. But that is not the only reason why people are considering the mask policy of the store as a possible reason. 



 

American journalist and a New York Times bestselling author Kurt Alexander Eichenwald took to Twitter to offer his theory. ‘The Informant' author said, “King Soopers in Boulder requires customers to wear a mask. Was a shooting there today. A man was arrested, maybe shooter, wasn't wearing a mask. I seriously hope this doesnt end up being anti-masker violence. This country is so insane that this possibility has to be considered.”



 

As per the King Soopers website, a mask policy was indeed instituted last year. The website says: “As an employer, grocery provider and community partner, we have a responsibility to help keep our associates, customers, and communities safe. According to the CDC, wearing a facial covering, combined with social distancing and frequent hand washing, has been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Starting July 22, we will require all customers in all locations to wear a mask when shopping in our stores, joining our associates who continue to wear masks. We are taking this extra step now because we recognize additional precautions are needed to protect our country.”

Eichenwald’s speculation led to others talking about it. “I work as a cashier. The people with our masks are the people I’m afraid of telling to put it on to. One middle aged white man yesterday was screaming about his freedom when my coworker asked him to pull up his mask yesterday. He was escorted out. They are getting worse,” wrote a Twitter user.

Another Twitter user said, “Anti maskers do seem to be angry.I see toddlers and other young children wear masks without complaining while some so called adults whine or refuse to wear a mask.”



 

 



 

However, most people sided with not speculating on this before law enforcement released more information. Eye-witnesses, so far, have said nothing about masks as well. Ryan Borowski told the Times that he was there to buy a soda, chips, and ice cream when the shooting began. “I just second-thought it and said, ‘No, I don’t need ice cream,’” he said. “That’s when I heard the gunshots. I just saw a woman’s terrified face coming towards me. I knew to turn and run. It all just blurred together.”

"He just came in and started shooting," one of the customers who was buying pizza at a self-checkout counter inside the store told the media. Anna Haynes said that she was looking out her window when she saw a man shoot someone on a ramp into the grocery store. 

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.