U.S. President Biden’s Remarks on Shooting in Boulder, Colorado

The White House

THE PRESIDENT: There’s still a great deal we don’t know about the killer and the motivation of the killer in Boulder, Colorado, and other critical aspects of this mass shooting. I’ve been briefed this morning by the Attorney General of the United States, the Director of the FBI. I’ve spoken with the governor, and I’ll be speaking with the mayor on the aircraft.

We’re working very closely with the state and local law enforcement officials, and they’re going to keep me updated as they learn more. You’re going to ask me to speculate — understandably, you’re going to ask me to speculate on what happened, why it happened. And I’m not going to do that now because we don’t have all the information — not until I have all the facts.

But I do know this: As President, I can use all the resources at my disposal to keep the American people safe. As I said: At this moment, a great deal remains unknown. But three things are certain. First, 10 lives have been lost, and more families have been shattered by gun violence in the state of Colorado. And Jill and I are devastated. And the feeling — I just can’t imagine how the families are feeling — the victims whose futures were stolen from them, from their families, from their loved ones who now have to struggle to go on and try to make sense of what’s happened.

Less than a week after the horrific murders of eight people and the assault on the AAPI community in Georgia, while the flag was still flying half-staff for the tragedy, another American city has been scarred by gun violence and the resulting trauma.

And the state that — I even hate to say it because we’re saying it so often: My heart goes out. Our hearts go out for the survivors. The — who had to — had to flee for their lives and who hid, terrified, unsure if they would ever see their families again, their friends again. The consequences of all this are deeper than I suspect we know. By that, I mean the mental consequences — a feeling of — anyway, it just — we’ve been through too many of these.

The second point I want to make is: My deepest thanks to the heroic police and other first responders who acted so quickly to address the situation and keep the members of their community safe. To state the obviously — the obvious, I commend the exceptional bravery of Officer Eric Talley. I send my deepest condolences to his family — his close, close family and seven children.

You know, when he pinned on that badge yesterday morning, he didn’t know what the day would bring. I want everybody to think about this: Every time an officer walks out of his or her home and pins that badge on, a family member that they just said goodbye to wonders whether they’ll — subconsciously — will they get that call. The call that his wife got.

He thought he’d be coming home to his family and his seven children. But when the moment to act came, Officer Talley did not hesitate in his duty, making the ultimate sacrifice in his effort to save lives. That’s a definition of an American hero.

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