BOULDER, Colo. (NewsNation Now) — He was working behind the Starbucks kiosk inside the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado when a customer alerted him there was an active shooter in the parking lot.
Logan Smith, 20, had bullets flying in his direction, lost a friend he considered a brother and watched another friend get shot to death. The barista was one of the first to call 911 and helped save a co-worker.
“Death was something I accepted already, the moments the first shots were fired,” Smith said.
When Smith was first alerted of the shots, he ran outside.
“I didn’t do the smartest thing. I ran outside myself, and I saw the gunman shoot down a customer who was coming into the store. The customer was shot in the back. After I saw that, I immediately ran inside and was one of the first people to call 911 within the store,” said Smith.
The 911 operator could hear the gunshots through the phone, as Smith explained what was happening.
“After I hung up it was go time,” Smith said. “I was in it. I knew I had to protect my co-worker that I was with behind the counter, as well as try to get customers out.”
His 69-year-old co-worker was still inside the Starbucks kiosk near the grocery store’s West exit.
“She’s my elder, and I knew it was my responsibility to protect her life, and I rushed her into a corner, I shoved two of the trash cans we have to cover her body, and then I was just like, ‘I have to find a place for myself,'” he said.
Smith hid behind a trash can.
“All of Colorado’s mass shootings, the majority have happened in my lifetime,” said Smith. “It’s been in the back of my head all of my life, and to be in it, it activated in my mind, and I knew what to do, or I think I knew what to do, but I was willing to sacrifice myself if needed.”
“He was a brother to me,” Smith said of his fellow co-worker. “He was the little brother, he was annoying, he poked fun at me, we would poke fun at each other. When literally that day I was talking with him, right before the shooting happened, and even during the shooting, I was with Denny. When the first shots were fired, we ran off in different directions, and I never saw him again.”
Another good friend of his was 25-year-old Rikki Olds. She was a front-end manager at King Soopers, according to NewsNation affiliate KDVR-TV.
“I saw her get shot and fall to the ground, so seeing that made me know that it was real,” Smith said.
At one point, the gunman was 13 feet away from Smith hiding in the kiosk.
“I don’t know if he was out of ammo or if he was armed at the time,” Smith said. “There was a situation in my mind that I was trying to think of, I should be a hero and try and disarm him or try and neutralize him, but I didn’t know if it was just one individual or if it was multiple.”
NewsNation’s Rob Nelson asked Smith if he had processed the gravity of what he live through.
“To be honest, it’s definitely falling on top of me; it’s slowly building up. I haven’t fully come to accept any of it,” said Smith.
He said he hopes to return to work for the company but wants changes to protect the safety of employees and customers.