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Boulder businesses healing by spreading kindness following mass shooting

Abo's Pizza South
Posted at 5:34 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 22:54:16-04

BOULDER, Colo. — It's hard to put into words what happened in Boulder on Monday afternoon.

"My heart is breaking in so many different places at one time that it's hard to really process it all," Tyler Porritt, owner of Abo's Pizza South, said Friday.

His restaurant is across the street from the King Soopers where a gunman killed 10 people. For decades, Abo's has been the place to get a good slice of pizza. But on Monday, it served as a hiding place.

"At one point, they were letting people in to shelter and then had to stop doing that because there was so much confusion based on the situation," Porritt said.

Like so many people in the community, Porritt has had a difficult time processing his feelings about what happened.

"I have a hard time seeing [us] going back to normal. I don't, I don't accept that anymore," he said, holding back tears. "I can't keep seeing things like this. We need to change. We need to do something."

The community's support has set off a chain reaction of kindness. When a mother and her two daughters dropped off flowers, it moved Porritt to visit neighboring businesses and drop off some free pizza.

"Just kind of [shows] how this situation can just kind of send ripples throughout your entire life," he said.

Tinker Art Studio is also giving back in the best way it knows how.

"There's something really cathartic about making art," owner Christie Hubley said.

Her team started making signs with the words "Boulder Strong" on them Thursday afternoon.

"It felt like something that was within our wheelhouse as an art studio, something we could give," Hubley said.

She's passed them out to places like Abo's and placed a bucket of them at the memorial for the victims for anyone who'd like one.

"I hope that it shows that we're here for each other. We're here together and, in particular, the businesse, that we’re here for the community," Hubley said.

It will take time for this community to heal, but it's clear they will thanks to their collective strength and kindness.