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Today’s Headlines: ‘A nightmare in Boulder’

People gather outside the site of a shooting in Colorado
Workers and shoppers are tended to after being evacuated from a King Soopers grocery store after a gunman opened fire in Boulder, Colo.
( Chet Strange / Getty Images)

A shooting at a Colorado supermarket left 10 people dead.

TOP STORIES

‘A Nightmare in Boulder’

A shooting at a Colorado supermarket on Monday killed 10 people, including a police officer who was the first to respond to the scene.

Authorities said a suspect was in custody but didn’t reveal the suspect’s name or any details about the shooting at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, about 25 miles northwest of Denver.

The attack was the seventh mass killing this year in the U.S., following the March 16 shooting that left eight people dead at three Atlanta-area spas, according to a database compiled by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. It follows a lull in mass killings during the pandemic in 2020, which had the fewest such attacks in more than a decade, according to the database, which defines mass killings as those that leave four or more dead, not including the assailant.

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“This is a tragedy and a nightmare for Boulder County,” Boulder County Dist. Atty. Michael Dougherty said. “These were people going about their day, doing their shopping. I promise the victims and the people of the state of Colorado that we will secure justice.”

Beyond the Border

Facing criticism over a growing presence of migrant children at the U.S. southern border, President Biden has dispatched a high-level team to Mexico and Central America to find a solution to the politically charged crisis.

A sharp spike in migration — and the acrimonious criticism from Republicans and others — could derail Biden’s first-year agenda and jeopardize efforts to reform broader immigration policy. The goal, National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said, was to come up with “an effective and humane plan of action to manage migration” and “build a more hopeful future in the region.”

Biden has vowed to be more humane than his predecessor but also to shift much of the focus on “root causes” that propel people to flee their homelands, including poverty, violence and a devastating mix of drought and hurricanes.

Meanwhile, overwhelmed Border Patrol officials have released some migrants without court paperwork, stirring confusion.

A Retooled Conspiracy Theory

Experts on extremism are warning about a troubling shift in the right-wing QAnon movement toward a new vein of conspiracy that blends anti-Chinese and anti-Jewish tropes with fears of vaccines and a global plot to take over the world.

Broadly collected under the idea of a “new world order,” it’s a QAnon rebranding, said researcher Joel Finkelstein, director of Rutgers University’s Network Contagion Research Institute, allowing conspiracy theorists to pivot after a year of political upheaval, scrutiny and disappointing predictions.

It marks a shift from the wild lies the movement spread before the election and in subsequent efforts to keep former President Trump in office, even after he lost to Joe Biden. Finkelstein and others said the switch, and the emphasis on suspicion toward Asians and Jews, could lead to more violence.

An Epic Vaccine Outreach

With pressure mounting for California to keep reopening schools and businesses, much is riding on the vast, wildly varied efforts of volunteers to find and vaccinate some of the state’s hardest-to-reach populations, many of whom do not have cars, reliable internet access, legal documentation or enough free time to search for an appointment.

Nearly half of all vaccines in California are going to about 400 ZIP Codes identified as high need, and state health officials have hinged the state’s reopening plan on how quickly those doses can be distributed.

Entrusted with the job is a broad collection of community groups, including predominantly Latino churches, Chinatown nonprofits, a Black sorority and members of the Ethiopian business community that know their communities and know how to reach them. That often involves going offline.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

Appointments to get a COVID-19 vaccination remain a precious commodity in Los Angeles County this week, as many slots are reserved for second doses and officials continue to contend with a supply crunch.

AstraZeneca said its vaccine was 79% effective and had no safety issues with blood clots in U.S. trials. But hours later, U.S. officials issued an unusual statement expressing concern that the company had included “outdated information” from its study.

— Fewer than 3 in 10 students plan to return when L.A. Unified campuses reopen this school year, according to survey results compiled by school officials.

What’s going on with school? What do children need? Sign up for 8 to 3, an upcoming newsletter about kids, school and education.

An L.A. Legend

For the Lakers, Elgin Baylor came along at precisely the right time. Still in Minneapolis, they used the No. 1 overall pick in the 1958 draft to get Baylor, after team owner Bob Short persuaded him to skip his senior year at Seattle University.

With Baylor earning rookie-of-the-year honors in 1958-59, the Lakers went from last in their division to the Finals. After one more season in Minneapolis, Short moved the club to Los Angeles, hoping to cash in on some of the excitement generated by the recently arrived Dodgers. The city, though, seemed largely unimpressed. But at least the team had a selling point in Baylor, a superstar in the making.

A fixture on the L.A. basketball scene as a player, coach and longtime Clippers executive, Baylor died of natural causes in Los Angeles, the Lakers announced on Twitter. He was 86.

Yet despite Baylor becoming a legendary player, “I’ve always said he was one of those players who never got enough credit,” former teammate Jerry West told The Times. And as columnist Bill Plaschke put it, “The first great Los Angeles Laker was the most forgotten Laker.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

When Claude K. Bell open the Wheel Inn cafe in 1958, he knew he’d need to do something unique to attract customers. As a Knott’s Berry Farm sculptor and portrait artist, he decided to start with dinosaurs.

In a dusty stretch off the highway in Cabazon, he began building the first of what he intended to be a “family of dinosaurs.” Ultimately, only two were built: a 45-foot-tall, 150-foot-long brontosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus rex named Mr. Rex.

The property was sold after Bell died in 1988, but the dinosaurs remain as a roadside attraction.

Claude K. Bell stands in front of the frame of a large dinosaur sculpture.
March 23, 1970: Sculptor Claude K. Bell with his 45-foot-tall, 150-foot-long brontosaurus in Cabazon.
(John Malmin / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— Who will be the next state attorney general? One of these people could be Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pick.

— Authorities are investigating an incident in which a man disrupted a protest against anti-Asian racism in Diamond Bar by driving through a group of protesters while yelling insults about China.

— Attorneys for the family of a Black man who was fatally shot by a Pasadena police officer last year said that video of the incident is evidence that the shooting was unjustified.

— If Southern California were hit with a major tsunami, where would it most likely strike? The California Geological Survey has released new maps that show the extent of flooding in Malibu, Venice and Long Beach.

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NATION-WORLD

Martin Walsh, Biden’s pick to run the Labor Department, easily won Senate confirmation with almost 20 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the Boston mayor.

— The Supreme Court gave a skeptical hearing to a California labor regulation that gives union organizers limited rights to go on to the private property of agribusinesses to encourage farmworkers to join. Separately, the court agreed to consider whether to reinstate the death sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber.

— A second Canadian citizen went on trial in Beijing. He has been held for more than two years on spying charges in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a senior Huawei executive.

— A crisis in the Himalayas: climate change and unsustainable development.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— The little-known business of literary translation has become a source of public controversy with the rise of poet Amanda Gorman. Publishers abroad are facing pressure to value representation in selecting translators.

Aretha Franklin’s family doesn’t approve of “Genius: Aretha,” National Geographic’s recently released biographical series. The producers didn’t involve them, family members say.

— The tragedy in “The Father” — now an Oscar-nominated drama — taught Times staff writer Ashley Lee a surprisingly hopeful lesson about her own father.

— The Oscar best picture race is wide open. Here, the eight nominees make their case.

BUSINESS

— Rare sneakers. Bots. Insider connections. A scandal involving a Nike executive and her reseller son is roiling the sneaker world, highlighting the worst suspicions about a booming market in which shoes can be traded like stocks.

Food waste is a problem. Consumer columnist David Lazarus thinks businesses could do more to raise awareness.

SPORTS

March Madness: UCLA cruises past Abilene Christian and into the Sweet 16, while Andy Enfield guides USC’s rise out of obscurity.

— The Dodgers’ Justin Turner explains why he decided to drop some pounds this offseason.

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OPINION

— Kurt Bardella on the question every Asian American hates to be asked: “Where are you from?”

— We need faster action on removing the DDT graveyard off the L.A. coast, writes The Times’ editorial board.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— “I realized how starved Asian Americans are for having a raw, angry, and complicated portrait of being Asian in America.” Alexander Chee and Cathy Park Hong on anti-Asian racism in the U.S. (Medium)

— The audio-only Clubhouse app has risen quickly in popularity, but keeping toxicity out is the hard part. (Wired)

ONLY IN L.A.

Since 1973, only “safe and sane” fireworks can be sold to ordinary folks in California. And in hundreds of places — such as the city of L.A. and L.A. County’s unincorporated areas — you can’t even buy, sell or set off those. But apart from speeding, and gasoline leaf-blowers, fireworks bans are probably the most ignored laws around. Columnist Patt Morrison looks at L.A.'s obsession with things that go boom.

Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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