MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two people who witnessed the Boulder shootings grew up in Minnesota.

WCCO found out more about their stories.

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For Minnesotans Brian and Erin Kruesi of New Brighton, it was the dream – to live in Colorado. Two months ago, they made that happen.

“You’re just surrounded by active lifestyle people, out and about and friendly, walking their dogs,” Brian Kruesi said.

But Monday, they were surrounded by tragedy. Ten people were killed, including an officer, at the grocery store right across the street from their home. The store Brian Kruesi was inside.

He describes what unfolded.

“I had my shopping cart full of stuff and as I was leaving the exit, I heard loud explosions,” he said. “I looked up and that’s when I saw the gunman right in front of me, really, in the parking lot and he was shooting across what I now know was at the other doorway, that I didn’t exit … It was one of those things, where I knew it was bad. The type of rifle he had, I knew that anyone that he was aiming at would probably be dead … Had I left 10 seconds earlier, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Brian ran out the back door warning others to leave.

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One of the other shoppers inside was a University of Colorado freshman from Bemidji. His father, Robert Saxton, spoke to WCCO.

“He was in the grocery store, he had some things in his arms, cop burst in and told him to run,” he said.

Saxton, who is an emergency responder, watched as the victims were named and the officer honored.

“I don’t know if that’s the police officer that got killed, but it may have been. Either way, he saved our son’s life,” he said.

And so like the rest of the nation, the Minnesotans on the front lines try to grasp what is gone.

“I just want to say I feel so lucky right now. Like I said, slight changes could have ended much, much worse for me,” Brian Kruesi said.

Saxton says he is a hunter but believes high-powered rifles have no place in society.

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“It’s just too much. We shouldn’t have to live like this. America shouldn’t have to live like this,” he said.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield