DENVER: At least four major grocery and convenience store chains in Colorado pulled last week's issue of The National Enquirer off shelves over fears that new pictures of the Columbine school shooting would not be welcomed by local residents.
Kroger-owned King Sooper and City Market grocery stores, Albertson's, Safeway, and 7-Eleven outlets in Colorado all declined to sell an issue of the Enquirer that featured two crime scene photos of Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold lying dead on the floor of the school library after killing 12 classmates and a teacher, and wounding 20 others in an April 1999 attack. The pictures apparently belong to law enforcement or other emergency agencies, but were leaked to American Media, parent company of the Enquirer.
"The pictures are very sensitive in nature, and we did it out of respect for families (of victims) located here, explained King Sooper VP of sales and marketing Donna Giordano.
"We were all deeply wounded by this horrific loss of life, and do not believe it serves the public to offer this issue in our stores, added Albertson's Rocky Mountain division VP Brian Murty in a release.
Despite the ban in some stores, copies of the issue quickly sold out at other newsstands.
Giordano said she received only a few positive calls from consumers regarding the action, and no negative feedback. However, she added that there has been significant interest from the press.
"Our response from the general public has been minimal, she said. "I've had more calls from the media than the public."
The story was picked up by the AP and local papers, and spread to outlets including The Boston Herald and NBC in San Diego.