King Soopers workers face panic attacks and anxiety-filled days after mass shooting

March 31, 2021

By: Vicente Arena

Originally appeared on Fox31 Denver

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — The past week and a half has been rough on King Soopers employees after the shooting at the Boulder grocery store on March 22.

Some of them tell us the shooting has left them on edge.

Outside the King Soopers in Boulder, some of the flowers have begun to wilt. Signs are beginning to fade.

But for Logan Smith, memories of the shooting here nine days ago are still fresh and haunting.

“I went to Target for the first time and a had panic attack inside of Target. My heart rate increased. I was looking for all the exits so if anything happened, I could find a way to escape,” said Smith.

Smith was working as a barista in the King Soopers Starbucks when the shooting happened.

The Boulder native helped save his 69-year-old co-worker by covering her with trash cans as shots were being fired near his counter.

Nothing has been the same since the shooting.

It’s been a trying time.

Even being with co-workers rattles the 20-year-old’s nerves.

“I was at a meeting and I kind of had a panic attack. I was anxious. I was feeling like I was suffocating. And I was analyzing everybody’s body language. (I said to myself) I need to walk out. I need to take a break,” said Smith.

The mental trauma has been so severe, Smith has had to leave his home, where fear seems to set in.

He’s now staying in a hotel being provided by King Soopers.

Mental health counselors say feeling afraid and anxious is normal after a shooting like the one in Boulder. Counselors advise people to share their experience with someone who won’t judge you.

“It’s that connection with others who will listen to you and share their own experiences back. That allows you to establish some commonality of experience and finding that connection. That’s where the healing happens,” said Mental Health Colorado President Vincent Atchity.

It’s not clear how long this King Soopers will remain closed.

Smith says he’s hoping to return when it opens. For now, he’s taking one day at a time.

Mental Health Colorado says if you need to talk to a counselor, the following agencies may be able to help: