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Boulder Supermarket Shooter Identified as 21-Year-Old Man

   March 23, 2021 9:59 AM
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by BY PATTY NIEBERG AND THOMAS PEIPERT, Associated Press

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Boulder Shooter Identified Who is the Boulder killer: Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa
 
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Police on Tuesday identified a 21-year-old man as the suspect who opened fire inside a crowded Colorado supermarket in an attack that killed 10 people, including an officer, and sent terrorized shoppers and employees scrambling for cover.

Authorities said Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was from the Denver suburb of Arvada and that he engaged in a shootout with police inside the Boulder store. The suspect was being treated at a hospital and was expected to be booked into the county jail later in the day.

Investigators have not established a motive, but authorities believe he was the only shooter, Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said.

A law enforcement official briefed on the shooting told The Associated Press that the gunman used an AR-15 rifle, a lightweight semi-automatic rifle. Officials were trying to trace the gun. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Officials also identified the nine other victims after previously naming the officer. The dead ranged in age from 20 to 65.

Hundreds of police officers from throughout the Denver area responded to the attack, converging on a King Soopers supermarket in a busy shopping plaza in southern Boulder.

SWAT officers carrying ballistic shields slowly approached the store as others escorted frightened people away from the building, which had some of its windows shattered. Customers and employees fled through a back loading dock to safety. Others took refuge in nearby shops.

Officers had escorted a shirtless man in handcuffs, blood running down his leg, from the store during the siege. Authorities would not say if he was the suspect.

"This is a tragedy and a nightmare for Boulder County," Dougherty said. "These were people going about their day, doing their shopping. I promise the victims and the people of the state of Colorado that we will secure justice."

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold identified the slain officer as Eric Talley, 51, who had been with the force since 2010. He was the first to arrive after responding to a call about shots fired and someone carrying a rifle, she said.

"He was by all accounts one of the outstanding officers of the Boulder Police Department, and his life was cut too short," Dougherty said.

Dozens of police and emergency vehicles, their lights flashing, escorted an ambulance carrying the slain officer from the shooting scene after nightfall. Some residents stood along the route, their arms raised in salute.

The attack in Boulder, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Denver and home to the University of Colorado, stunned a state that has seen several mass shootings, including the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting.


BACKGROUND

The shooting began shortly after 2:30 p.m. MDT (20:30 UTC) when a gunman entered the supermarket and began to fire.[9] A family in line awaiting their COVID-19 vaccine shots at the store's pharmacy witnessed the gunman shoot a woman at the front of the line, and proceeded to hide in a coat closet until their rescue.[10] Some customers and employees reached safety via a back exit in the supermarket.[5][11] The incident was partially livestreamed by a witness.[12] According to a senior law enforcement source, an AR-15 style rifle was used by the gunman.[4]

Around the same time as the shooting began, the Boulder Police Department began receiving calls of "a possible person with a patrol rifle"[13] and shots fired. One of the first officers on the scene was Officer Eric Talley, who was shot and killed by the perpetrator.[14][15] Officers engaged in a gunfight with the perpetrator at 2:40 p.m. and shots continued until 3:21 p.m.[16] At 3:28 p.m., Alissa was taken into custody.[17]

Witnesses at the scene reported hearing anywhere from ten to thirty shots fired in rapid succession.[5][11]

Around the time of the shooting, reports emerged of another armed individual in the city. Boulder Police later confirmed that this incident was unrelated.[18] A shelter-in-place order was issued in the area at 4:18 p.m. and lifted at 6:40 p.m.[19]

Response[edit]

Up to fifteen different agencies responded to the incident, including the Jefferson County SWAT, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and local police departments.[20] A fire department ladder truck was used to get a SWAT team onto the roof.[21] At least three medical helicopters were summoned to a staging area at nearby Fairview High School.[22][23]

Victims[edit]

Law enforcement officials said that ten people were killed in the shooting,[24] including police officer Eric Talley, age 51, who had worked for the Boulder Police Department for eleven years[25] and a 25-year-old employee.[26] The ages of the victims range from 20 to 65 years old. In addition, several police officers were injured.[27]

The victims are:[28]

  • Denny Stong, age 20
  • Neven Stanišic, 23
  • Rikki Olds, 25
  • Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
  • Terry Leiker, 51
  • Officer Eric Talley, 51
  • Suzanne Fountain, 59
  • Kevin Mahoney, 61
  • Lynn Murray, 62
  • Jody Waters, 65

Suspect[edit]

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, age 21, from Arvada, Colorado, is the alleged shooter and was charged with ten counts of first-degree murder.[29][30] Alissa was found with a leg wound, and was transported to Boulder Community Health Foothills Hospital.[31] A day later, Alissa was transferred to the Boulder County Jail.[32] The suspect's older brother stated that Alissa has a history of paranoid, disturbed, and anti-social behavior. He had been previously charged in 2018 for assault and pleaded guilty. He was charged for punching a classmate, after the classmate had made fun of Alissa and used derogatory terms towards him in the weeks prior.[33]

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