On Monday afternoon, a gunman shot and killed 10 people, including the first police officer on the scene, at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. After authorities took him into custody, he was later identified as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. He has been charged with 10 counts of murder.
According to police reports, around 2.30pm. Alissa entered a King Soopers supermarket a few miles south of the University of Colorado campus and opened fire. Shoppers and employees hid or escaped through the back of the store as they waited for law enforcement to arrive. According to The New York Times, a witness posted a live video from the scene not long after the shooting began claiming he heard about a dozen shots. Later, videos showed multiple police officers escorting a handcuffed man from the building who had what appears to be an injury to his right leg. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Alissa used an AR-15, which is a lightweight, semi-automatic rifle, but that officials were still trying to trace it to determine whether he is its registered owner.
Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold confirmed that Alissa sustained “a through-and-through” gunshot wound to the leg before being taken into custody at 3.28pm on Monday. In the same briefing, Herold said that Alissa was sent to the hospital in stable condition and is being treated. It’s unclear whether the shot that injured him came from police, said Herold. In a statement given by Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty, Alissa is expected to be taken to jail after treatment is finished later today.
“[It is] premature to draw any conclusions (about motive) at this point in time,” said FBI special agent Michael Schneider, who is overseeing the case. Herold added, “We are going to do everything in our power to make sure this suspect has a thorough trial.” At present, he is believed to be the only perpetrator involved in the mass shooting.
The names of those who died in the shooting have also been released, according to the Boulder police: Denny Strong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Boulder police officer Eric Talley, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.
Not much information is currently known about Alissa, but investigators have shared that he is from Arvada, Colorado, a suburb of Denver about 20 miles from Boulder. He is said to have “lived most of his life in the United States,” according to Dougherty. Officials say they had two encounters with Alissa in 2018 — one for "criminal mischief" and another due to a report of a third-degree assault, which is considered a misdemeanour.
“This is a tragedy and a nightmare for Boulder County,” said Dougherty. “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.”