AHMAD Al Aliwi Alissa, the 21-year-old suspect in Monday’s massacre at the King Soopers supermarket in the Colorado city of Boulder, faces 10 counts of murder in the first degree, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said Tuesday.
The 10 people who died ranged in age from 20 to 65.
They were, according to 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; Jody Waters, 65.
The suspect is a resident of Arvada, Colorado, and has “lived most of his life in the United States,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said. He sustained “a through-and-through” gunshot wound to his leg, and was taken into custody at 3:28 p.m. Monday, Herold said.
He was sent to a hospital in stable condition, and was being treated there Tuesday, Herold said. Though officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the shot that injured him came from police, she said.
He will be taken to the Boulder County jail after treatment is finished, likely on Tuesday, Dougherty said.
“(It is) premature to draw any conclusions (about motive) at this point in time,” FBI special agent in charge Michael Schneider said.
“We are going to do everything in our power to make sure this suspect has a thorough trial,” and a thorough investigation will be done, Herold said.
Ten people, including a police officer, were killed Monday when a gunman opened fire in a supermarket in the Colorado college city of Boulder, in one of several mass shootings in the US over the last week.
A suspect is in custody, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said, but authorities did not share any information on his identity, the type of weapon used or any possible motive.
“I promise … we will secure justice and do everything we must do to get justice in this case,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said.
The massacre at the King Soopers store in Boulder comes less than a week after shootings at three spas in the Atlanta area left eight people dead. In the last week alone, the United States has had at least seven shootings in which at least four people were injured or killed.
Witnesses have described scenes of terror and panic in Boulder, home to the University of Colorado’s main campus nestled by the Rocky Mountains northwest of Denver.
A shooter had gunned down at least one person in the parking lot before going inside, according to Anna Haynes, a college student who was looking from her apartment window across the street.
Haynes heard what turned out to be gunshots, and then looked outside and “saw a body in the middle of the parking lot. “
“I also saw the gunman himself holding a semiautomatic rifle,” Haynes, editor-in-chief of the University of Colorado’s CU Independent.
“On his way to the entrance, had turned around and was shooting rapid-fire at one particular target. … And then he turned around, he entered the building through the handicap entrance.
“And a few seconds later, I saw people running out of the building, I heard screaming, I heard people leaving in their cars, and it just evolved into chaos within just a couple of minutes.”
Ryan Borowski told CNN he was grabbing a bag of chips and a soda when he heard the first shot and saw a terrified woman running toward him. By the third shot, he was running with her toward the back of the store.
They and others gathered with employees in the back.
“I saw a lot of very wide eyes. … The employees in the back of the house didn’t know what was going on, so we told them that there was a shooter, and they told us where the exit was,” he told CNN Tuesday.
The slain officer, 51-year-old Eric Talley, was one of the first to respond to the scene, according to Herold. Talley had joined the Boulder police force in 2010, she said.
“He was, by all accounts, one of the outstanding officers of the Boulder Police Department, and his life was cut far too short,” Dougherty said.
Officials did not disclose the identity of any of the other victims, saying they needed to first notify family members.
CNN affiliate KMGH’s helicopter recorded police leading several people away from the store — including a shirtless man being taken from the supermarket.
The man had what appeared to be blood on his arm and right leg and his hands appeared to be cuffed behind him as two officers escorted him away. The man was taken away in an ambulance.
It was unclear whether the man was involved in the shooting.
What authorities say happened
Boulder police tweeted about 2:49 p.m. (4:49 p.m. ET) that there was an “Active Shooter at the King Soopers on Table Mesa. AVOID THE AREA.”
In scanner traffic, officers radioed that they were in a gunfight. They continued to report that they were being fired at with multiple rounds through at least 3:21 p.m. local time.
Ambulances and multiple law enforcement agencies arrived at the store, which is part of a large shopping center with a two-story strip mall next door. “He’s armed with a rifle, our officers shot back and returned fire — we do not know where he is in the store,” an officer said, according to a transcript of the audio.
One senior law enforcement source told CNN the weapon used in the shooting was an AR-15-style rifle.
Steven McHugh said his son-in-law and two granddaughters were there when a gunman attacked.
His son-in-law, Paul, was third in line for a Covid-19 vaccine and his seventh- and eighth-grade granddaughters were on the phone with their grandmother. On the other end of the phone, their grandmother heard at least eight shots ring out.
The woman at the front of the line was shot, McHugh told CNN’s Don Lemon. Paul grabbed the girls and hurried them upstairs to take cover in a coat closet above the pharmacy, he said. The girls said they were afraid because the coats weren’t long enough to hide their feet.
“The intensity, the awfulness is going to last for the rest of their lives,” he said.
At one point, police were seen moving on the roof. McHugh told CNN affiliate KCNC that his relatives were evacuated via the roof.
“They hid, ran upstairs, were hiding in a coat closet for the last hour,” McHugh told KCNC. “Half a dozen cops came in through the roof and got them and then told them, you know, ‘Stay quiet.'”
Police respond at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder where a gunman opened fire on Monday.
Calls for action against gun violence
On the heels of March 16’s three spa shootings in Atlanta, the latest attack stoked calls for action and expressions of fear.
“This past weekend it was a house party in Philadelphia. And last week it was an armed attack on Asian American women in the Atlanta area,” former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who is a shooting survivor, said in a statement. “This is not normal, and it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s beyond time for our leaders to take action.”
The tragedy in Colorado feels especially personal, Giffords said, considering how the shooting she survived outside a Tucson grocery store devastated her community.
US Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, also called for a national gun violence conversation and nonpartisan action.
“It’s long past time for Congress to take meaningful action to keep deadly weapons out of the wrong hands,” he said.
The National Rifle Association tweeted on Monday quoting the Constitution’s Second Amendment: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
King Sooper is owned by the Kroger company, which said the store will remain closed during the police investigation.
“The entire Kroger family offers our thoughts, prayers and support to our associates, customers, and the first responders who so bravely responded to this tragic situation,” the company said via its verified Twitter account.