Boulder's Iconic Star on Flagstaff Mountain Lit Up to Honor Shooting Victims

The Boulder Star has been lit to honor the victims of the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people, including a police officer, were killed in a shooting at King Soopers grocery store in the Table Mesa area of Boulder on Monday.

The Boulder Star on Flagstaff Mountain is traditionally lit up around the holiday season but it has also been lit in special circumstances. On this day last year, the city of Boulder lit the star "as a symbol of our community's unity and caring in confronting COVID-19 and its impacts on the Boulder community."

A year later, the star was lit again, following the mass shooting in which ten people were killed. A photo of the star was shared to the r/boulder subreddit and reshared by journalist Matt Sebastian.

The Flagstaff star's been turned back on in Boulder tonight, hours after 10 people were shot to death at a grocery store. (Photo via r/boulder:

— Matt Sebastian (@mattsebastian) March 23, 2021

The Boulder Star is managed by the Boulder Chamber, which released a statement about the shooting on Monday.

John Tayer, Boulder Chamber President and CEO, said in the statement: "For the moment, though, we simply unite in our shared grief for the tragic taking of life from such a violent act and we send our heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.

"We also send our deepest thanks to today's first responders—both our local units and those from across the region—for their swift action and bravery. Tonight, as we mourn for the victims of today's senseless acts, we light the Boulder Star in their honor and in our shared commitment as a community to the support for their families."

Boulder Colorado Shooting
Police officers look over the scene at a King Sooper's grocery store where a gunman opened fire on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people, including a police officer, were killed in the attack. The Boulder Star on Flagstaff Mountain has been lit up in honor of the victims. Chet Strange/Getty

Members of the Boulder group on Reddit shared messages of what the star means to them during this time. One user responded to the photo and said: "Thank you for posting this. I think a drive up flagstaff will be needed tonight—I feel that many people won't be sleeping well."

Another said: "Seeing the star lit hurts my heart. I never thought this would happen here. I'm hoping I don't recognize any of the names when they get released. Boulder will come back from this, but it's an ugly scar on our city."

In a press conference after the shooting, police confirmed that one suspect was in custody. They also said that ten people had died, including police officer Eric Talley, who was the first officer to arrive on the scene.

Police later confirmed that the suspect has been identified as Ahmad Alissa, aged 21, and he had been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.

The shooting has renewed calls for tighter gun restrictions in the U.S. as gun control advocates say "enough is enough." Colorado has one of the toughest gun laws in the U.S., with current laws including universal background checks, a ban on large-capacity magazines, and a "red flag" law that allows weapons to be temporarily taken from those deemed at extreme risk.

This graphic from Statista below demonstrates the number of mass shootings the U.S. experiences.

Mass shootings in U.S. - Statista
This graphic from Statista demonstrates the number of mass shootings the U.S. experiences. Statista