How a Colorado grocery store's generator caused fear in a Jefferson County neighborhood

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The mystery sound that prompted school lockdowns and shelter in place orders near C-470 and Ken Caryl Avenue in Jefferson County last month has been identified. 

According to a statement from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, a malfunctioning generator atop the roof of a nearby Safeway store was mistaken as gunfire in the early morning hours of Feb. 23.

The noise had residents concerned and many called the sheriff’s office to report that someone was shooting a gun. 

Deputies responded to the area around 6 a.m. and closed roads and asked nearby residents to shelter in place as they tried to locate a suspect. Nearby schools were also placed on a lockout status as a precaution.

Later in the day, deputies lifted the lockouts and released a video they hoped would help them pinpoint the noise. 

Three weeks later, the source of the noise was traced to the Safeway located in the 12000 block of West Ken Caryl Avenue. 

According to the sheriff’s office, management at the grocery store have been very cooperative throughout their investigation and tell them they are taking steps to fix the problem.

“We sincerely appreciate the partnership with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and apologize for the disruption and alarm this may have caused our neighbors. We are working with both our contractor and manufacturer of the generator to resolve this issue as quickly as possible,” said Kris Staaf, Director of Public Affairs, Safeway.
 

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