PODCAST: 10 People Killed in Colorado Shooting (UCN 2.23.21)

This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to ABC News, Ten people, including a police officer, were killed in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday afternoon when a gunman opened fire at a King Soopers grocery store, where residents had gathered to shop and receive COVID-19 vaccines. The victims range in age from 20 to 65, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said. The officer, 51-year-old Eric Talley, was fatally shot. He was the first member of law enforcement to arrive at the scene, Herold said. The other victims were identified as: Denny Strong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65. The shooting was reported at about 2:40 p.m. local time, police said. Officers arrived within minutes, entering the store and engaging with the suspect, who was shot in the exchange of gunfire, according to police. The suspect, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, of Arvada, Colorado, suffered a leg wound and was taken into custody at 3:28 p.m. Monday, the chief said. The suspect has been charged with 10 counts of murder, Herold said. He will be taken to the Boulder County Jail once he is released from the hospital.

According to the New York Post, The church where the Atlanta massacre suspect worshipped ripped him Friday for having a “sinful heart and depraved mind.” Robert Aaron Long was a lifelong and active member of the Crabtree First Baptist Church in Milton, Ga. — but in a long and brimstone-filled statement, leaders there condemned the murders he allegedly carried out as “egregious” and “wicked” and promised God’s judgment will be just. “We believe in a Holy and Righteous God who abhors evil and will judge all sin in perfect justice,” the statement said. “We have been in complete cooperation with law enforcement, and we pray for justice to be done. We pray for both earthly justice and divine justice,” the statement said. “We were absolutely devastated at this senseless loss of life and callous disregard for human beings created in the image of God,” the church said, calling the shooting that left eight dead “a total repudiation of our faith and practice.” The leaders extended their prayers to the shooting’s massage-parlor-employee victims, who Long has told cops he blamed for catering to his “sex addiction.” “We grieve for the victims and their families, and we continue to pray for all of those affected by this heinous crime as they deal with unimaginable pain and sorrow,” the statement said.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, A 16-year-old was arrested over the weekend after police accused him in a shooting that killed a metro Atlanta pastor. Police in DeKalb County are still working to identify other suspects in the incident that led to the death of Kevin Nick, who was the pastor of Higher Dimensions Church International. Church officials announced Nick’s death Saturday, saying although they are “heavy-hearted, we rejoice knowing he is at peace with his God.” “Apostle Nick demonstrated a level of care and concern throughout his ministry,” the church’s overseer, Tremaine Dupree, said in a Facebook post. “He was certainly a general in the Kingdom and will be greatly missed by all whose life he so fervently touched.” Nick was found dead inside of his SUV in a Decatur neighborhood just after 7:30 p.m. Friday, police said.

According to ABC News, A search is underway for an 18-year-old college student who vanished after telling his mother he was coming home for the weekend, according to police. Tyson Williams, a first-year student at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, was reported missing by his mother on Saturday afternoon, a day after she said she last spoke to him. “Because we don’t know, we’re trying not to jump to conclusions. We’re just looking for him right now,” Williams’ mother, Sonya Poitier, said. The Albany Police Department and Albany State University Police are investigating Williams’ disappearance. Poitier said police canvased a wooded area near Albany State on Sunday looking for her son but turned up no clues as to his whereabouts. She also said she last spoke to her son on Friday and he told her he was planning to come home for the weekend. “He doesn’t have a car, so he takes the bus. I usually will purchase the bus ticket for him and he just comes home,” Poitier said. She said her son, who is majoring in business management, has never disappeared without telling her or other family members where he was going. She said she went online, but tickets for the Greyhound bus Williams usually takes home were sold out, so she texted her son, telling him to try to catch another bus on Saturday. Poitier hasn’t heard from him since, she said.

According to the Guardian, El Salvador’s top surfer, who had been preparing for the sport’s Olympic debut this summer, has been struck and killed by lightning during a training session. “A great athlete who has represented our country has left us,” the Salvadoran Surf Federation said in a post paying tribute to Katherine Diaz on social media. “See you soon, great warrior. El Salvador is in mourning.” The 22 year-old had entered the water to start a training session on Friday near her home in El Tunco when she was struck. Emergency services tried to revive her on the beach, but the attempts were unsuccessful. Spanish newspaper AS reported that a sudden change in weather had caught those on the beach by surprise: “the sky was clear and it was an unforeseen storm that did not seem to carry much electrical intensity either.”

According to ESPN, Paul Mills made it to laundry day. After spending more than a week in the NCAA tournament bubble, Mills and his Oral Roberts team aren’t leaving town. The Golden Eagles are headed to the Sweet 16, joining the 2013 Florida Gulf Coast team as the only 15-seeds in tournament history to reach the round of 16. Oral Roberts erased an 11-point, second-half deficit to beat seventh-seeded Florida 81-78 at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Sunday. The Eagles, who on Friday won their first NCAA tournament game since 1974 by stunning No. 2 seed Ohio State, advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the same year, when they were called the Titans and the tournament featured only 25 teams. “I’m glad that we get a chance to do laundry,” Mills said on a video call with reporters. “We got here last Saturday. We’ll be off [Monday]. Tomorrow will be a good day because I have run out of clothes.”

According to NBC News, NCAA women’s basketball players are celebrating this weekend after receiving an upgraded weight room following complaints that the women’s facilities were subpar compared to the men’s. NCAA Women’s Basketball posted a photo of the new gym on Twitter, declaring, “The weight room has arrived! Let’s gooooo.” Earlier this week, Stanford University Sports Performance Coach Ali Kershner shared images on Instagram of a small rack of dumbbells in the women’s weight room next to an image of a vast expanse of benches, racks and barbell weights in the men’s weight room. “[T]his needs to be addressed,” Kershner wrote in the post. “These women want and deserve to be given the same opportunities. Not only that – 3 weeks in a bubble and no access to DBs above 30’s until the sweet 16? In a year defined by a fight for equality this is a chance to have a conversation and get better.” By Saturday, a new social media post was making the rounds, boasting upgraded facilities, including new dumbbells and racks, plus bands and other exercise equipment. “Guess what guys? We got a new weight room,” one player declared in the video posted to TikTok and Twitter. “Thank you NCAA for listening to us. We appreciate you all.”

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!