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Armed individuals at Pueblo protests prompt library closure

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 29, 2020

PUEBLO, Colorado — The Pueblo City-County Library District canceled its Sunday hours at the Rawlings Library in response to people showing up at the weekly protests at the Christopher Columbus monument carrying rifles and other weapons.

Executive Director Jon Walker said the armed individuals did not appear to be associated with either the police department or a private security company.

"Those that are most concerning to us are the ones that appear to be carrying automatic weapons and long guns and a variety of types," Walker said. "I've actually had individuals who were in tears, they were very concerned."

While Walker claims the firearms may be automatic weapons, KOAA can not confirm these claims.

Library patrons are asked to visit either the Lamb or Barkman branch libraries which are traditionally closed on Sundays. Walker said both the mayor and police chief support his decision to close the facility. He is closely monitoring events taking place around the library during the protests and said he will reopen when it feels safe again.

"We're not happy about this situation, we don't really want it to be the permanent situation," Walker said.

The library has not been vandalized or damaged during the protests and no-one has been injured. Nevertheless, Walker feels responsible for the safety of everyone coming to use the facility.

"We're a family place, we have lots of children, we have lots of mothers and fathers who frequent our library, people of all ages," he said.