AURORA, Ill. - Memories of a mass shooting came flooding back to suburban police officers.
The triggering event was the mass shooting in Boulder, Colo.
Inside the Aurora Police Department, training was underway when the news hit two officers hard.
"I could tell by their faces and said, ‘What's going on?’ And they said, ‘We have an active shooter right now.’ And I said, ‘Where you guys from?’ And they said, ’Boulder,’ Aurora Police Chief Kristen Zimen recalls.
They had just learned of a mass shooting at a grocery store in their hometown Monday, where a fellow officer was killed.
"Just looking at the panic on their faces, and my guess is, you know, speculating, but the helplessness of not being there," said Chief Ziman.
Chief Ziman understood that need to be with fellow officers.
The same impulse pulled about 200 local officers, even those off duty, to the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora that occurred in Feb. 2019.
A gunman had killed 5 people.
"The first officer on the scene got hit immediately, one after another. We had five officers shot, one after another," said Chief Ziman.
Ziman says the officers rushing straight at that danger saved lives at Henry Pratt and in Boulder.
"In a time and place where people are questioning, you know, police officers, and their role in society, I know that a lot of lives were saved that day because that officer was the first one there," said Chief Ziman.
Chief Ziman admits that she is frustrated seeing yet another mass shooting, especially when any talk of gun restrictions gets so politicized.
"To me, this is not a political issue, this is a humanity issue. And so anything that any of us can do to keep guns out of the hands of those who wish to harm others. I'm a proponent of," said Chief Ziman.