In the spring of 2021, supermarket worker Darcey Lopez jokingly observed to a coworker that her cheese shop at the back was far from any exits. If there were ever an attack by a shooter, workers would be in a lot of trouble because there was “no place to go.” Two weeks later on March 22, that’s exactly what happened at the Kroger-owned King Soopers in Boulder, Co., A gunman shot and killed 10 people in her store including coworkers. The shooter fired so many rounds Lopez thought there might be more than one attacker. More than one out of six mass shootings since 1966 have taken place in a retail setting with supermarkets becoming an increasingly popular – and deadly – target, according to the Violence Project, a nonprofit research group in St. Paul, Mn., reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Three of the most deadly supermarket attacks have occurred in the past three years: the mass shooting at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo that killed 10 on May 14 this year; the 10 killed in Boulder, and the shooting that killed 23 in a Walmart in El Paso in 2019. Advocates hope the federal gun reform law signed this summer may slow the tide of violence. Meanwhile, Kroger and other retailers are reluctant to make sweeping changes that could be costly, disruptive to the shopping experience or offend a significant number of the millions of customers every day. Cincinnati-based Kroger says it last changed its gun policy to make customers feel safer in 2019, but won't discuss how it enforces it or its security measures in general.