The gunman responsible for a mass shooting at a Colorado grocery store on Monday has been identified as 21-year-old Ahmad Alissa.
Alissa, a high school wrestler who has been described by his family as ‘mentally ill’, was born in Syria and moved to the US when he was three. He now lives in Arvada, Colorado, around 30 miles from the grocery store he targeted on Monday.
At 2.40pm, he opened fire on King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, killing ten people. He was taken into at 3.28pm and was transported to the hospital to be treated for a leg wound.
Witnesses said he was using what looked like an AR-15 rifle. Police have not yet confirmed what kind of weapon he was using or if it was legally purchased.
Alissa is now in a stable condition and has been charged with ten counts of murder but his motive remains unknown.
In Facebook posts over the last 18 months, he complained about not having a girlfriend and ranted about President Trump.
His brother confirmed he was the shooter in an interview with The Daily Beast on Tuesday, saying he was ‘paranoid’ and ‘very antisocial’.
The brother said he believes he is mentally ill, and described how he was convinced people were ‘after him’ in high school.
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Ahmad Alissa, the 21-year-old gunman from Monday’s shooting at a Colorado grocery store. He is shown, left, wearing wrestling medals from the North American Grappling Association, in an undated Facebook photo
An injured man is shown being arrested at the store after the shooting on Monday. Police won’t confirm yet that this is the shooter Ahmad Alissa but he was taken to the hospital with a leg injury – where he remains
The shooter’s brother said he was ‘very anti-social’, ‘paranoid’ and thought that people were trying to kill him in high school. He is shown in social media photos from his Facebook page that has now been taken down
On Facebook, Alissa complained about not having a girlfriend. He also ranted against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies
It’s unclear why he unleashed terror on the supermarket or whether the gun he was using – described by witnesses as an AR-15 – was legally purchased.
Police have still not yet confirmed that he was the man who was seen being led out of the grocery store in handcuffs, bleeding from the leg, but they did say he was shot in the leg in a standoff with police.
COLORADO SHOOTING VICTIMS
Officer Eric Talley, 51
Boulder cop and father-of-seven. One of the first on the scene.
He had recently changed jobs because he wanted to work on the front line.
He was given a hero’s procession from the grocery store to the funeral home on Monday night.
Rikki Olds, 25
Rikki Olds, 25
Olds was identified by her aunt on Facebook.
It’s unclear if she worked at the store or whether she was there to shop or get her COVD-19 vaccine.
Teri Leiker, 51
Leiker had worked at the store for 30 years and was dating a colleague.
‘She loved going to work and enjoyed everything about being there. Her boyfriend and her had been good friends and began dating in the fall of 2019.
Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
‘He was working yesterday too. He is alive,’ her friend told Reuters.
Denny Strong, 20
Neven Stanisic, 23
Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
Suzanne Fountain, 59
Kevin Mahoney, 61
Lynn Murray, 62
Jody Waters, 65
The victims have been identified as; Denny Strong, 20, Neven Stanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Terri Licher, 51, Eric Talley, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, and Jodie Waters, 65.
Talley was a cop who recently changed jobs to work more closely on the front-line. He was also a father-of-seven.
Leiker had worked at the grocery store for 30 years. She was dating a colleague who survived the shooting.
Officials revealed at a press conference on Tuesday morning that some of the victims were at the store to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
Alissa is currently in the hospital but he is expected to be discharged later today to be booked into Boulder County Jail.
Witnesses described him shooting two of three shots then stopping calmly before opening fire again. One survivor said he was not ‘spraying’.
Harrowing 911 calls reveal how officers feared he was wearing a tactical vest.
They told each other to take ‘head shots only’ to bring him down.
At a press conference on Tuesday morning, officials said they still did not know what the shooter’s motive was.
‘We will make sure that the suspect is held accountable for what he did to them yesterday,’ Boulder District Attorney Michael Douhgerty said.
He was eventually shot in the leg in a standoff with the cops.
The victims range in age from 20 and 65.
Among them is a police officer, one of the first on the scene, people who were grocery shopping and people who were at the store to get their COVID vaccines.
When police arrived at the scene, they found two victims’ bodies in the parking lot.
Once inside, they saw another.
Authorities were heard over a loudspeaker telling Alissa to surrender before he emerged from the store in handcuffs.
Shortly after learning of the incident, Colorado Gov Jared Polis said in a statement: ‘My heart is breaking as we watch this unspeakable event unfold in our Boulder community.
‘We are making every public safety resource available to assist the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department as they work to secure the store.
‘I’m incredibly grateful to the brave men and women who have responded to the scene to help the victims of this senseless tragedy.’
Alissa’s brother told The Beast about an incident when he was in high school and feared he was going to be killed.
‘[He believed] he was being chased, someone is behind him, someone is looking for him.
‘When he was having lunch with my sister in a restaurant, he said, “People are in the parking lot, they are looking for me.”
‘She went out, and there was no one. We didn’t know what was going on in his head,’ he said.
The gunman is seen being loaded onto a stretcher after the shooting on Monday
A victim is shown on the floor of the store after the shooting. Ten people were killed and survivors ran for their lives
One video of the incident from YouTube shows two victims (circled) lying on the ground in the parking lot of the store
Two people are seen being escorted to safety by three officers out of the store on Monday afternoon
Tactical police units respond to the scene of King Soopers. The windows of the store were left broken, likely from gunfire
TIMELINE AND 911 DISPATCH CALLS
2.40pm: Police scanners pick up first reports of the shooting.
The frantic callers describe a white gunman firing at people in the parking lot.
2.50pm approx Officer Eric Talley, one of the first on the scene, is killed
2.55pm: SWAT teams arrive.
They find two people dead in the parking lot and one at the entrance of the store. Over the radio scanner, cops are heard yelling: ‘Shooter inside! He just shot at us twice!’
Another said: ‘Officer down inside the building’
3.21pm: Police stop reporting that they’re being shot at. It is around this time that the man is seen being led out of the store in boxer shorts
Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said that ‘words can do no justice to the tragedy that has unfolded this afternoon’. ‘Our community will soon grieve our losses, and begin our healing.
‘Our brave police officers and first responders have the gratitude of our entire city.’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki shared Monday evening that President Joe Biden ‘has been briefed on the shooting in Colorado and he will be kept up to date by his team as there are additional developments’.
In Brussels, Biden’s secretary of state Antony Blinken began remarks at NATO headquarters by offering his ‘deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed, including a law enforcement officer’.
Former Rep Gabby Giffords also released a statement about the shooting on Monday, saying: ‘This is an especially personal tragedy for me.
‘I survived a shooting at a grocery store, in a tragedy that devastated my beloved community of Tucson.
‘It’s been 10 years, and countless American communities have had to face something similar. This is not normal, and it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s beyond time for our leaders to take action.’
Giffords said that every victim ‘had hopes, dreams and people who loved them. They areo longer with us because of preventable tragedies’.
Colorado previously suffered two of the most infamous mass shootings in US history – massacres that prompted nationwide soul-searching but did not result in major changes to gun ownership laws.
In 1999, two boys shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher at Columbine High School before killing themselves.
Then in 2012, a heavily armed man stormed a movie theater in Aurora, murdering 12. The gunman is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
The city of Boulder imposed a ban on ‘assault-style weapons’ and large-capacity gun magazines in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting in 2018.
This image is an aerial view of a procession that occurred for Officer Eric Talley who was killed in the shooting at King Soopers
Firefighters salute an ambulance carrying the body of Officer Talley as it left the King Soopers grocery store Monday evening
A procession of emergency vehicles left King Soopers grocery store where authorities confirmed that 10 people were shot dead
The procession of emergency vehicles were seen driving through Boulder Monday night in honor of slain officer Talley
A police officer salutes as a procession carrying the body of a fellow officer leaves King Sooper’s grocery store Monday night
Law enforcement personnel salutes as the motorcade carrying Talley exits the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder
King Soopers employees are led away from an active shooter at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, U.S
Healthcare workers walk out of a King Sooper’s Grocery store after a gunman opened fire on March 22, 2021 in Boulder
Safety officials gather near the Boulder King Soopers grocery store after a shooting that killed multiple people in Boulder
Police guard people evacuated after a call of an active shooter at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, U.S. March 22. 2021
Police officers outside of the Boulder King Soopers grocery store after a shooting that killed multiple people in Boulder
SWAT teams advance through a parking lot as a gunman opened fire at a King Sooper’s grocery store on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people, including a police officer, were killed in the attack
Shoppers are escorted out of a King Soopers grocery where a gunman opened fire on Monday
Sarah Moonshadow is comforted by David and Maggie Talley after Moonshadow was inside King Soopers grocery store during a shooting in Boulder on Monday
Sarah Moonshadow and her son Nick stand outside the crime scene after being inside Kingsoopers during the shooting
A law enforcement officer speaks with a woman outside the perimeter of a shooting site at King Soopers grocery store in Boulder on Monday
Heavily-armed officers are seen standing outside the store on Monday afternoon
Law enforcement vehicles line up at the perimeter of a shooting site at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder
But a judge last week blocked that ban, local media reported, in a decision hailed by the NRA.
In a statement, the King Soopers chain offered ‘thoughts, prayers and support to our associates, customers, and the first responders who so bravely responded to this tragic situation’.
‘We will continue to cooperate with local law enforcement and our store will remain closed during the police investigation,’ the statement reads.
Boulder (depicted) is located about 25 miles northwest of Denver
Harrowing emergency radio obtained by the Colorado Sun revealed some of the initial moments as Officer Talley arrived to the scene.
‘Shooter is inside!’ an officer frantically called out from inside the store. ‘He just shot at us twice.’
A few seconds later someone says over the radio: ‘Officer down inside the building!’
As the incident unfolded, officers from the Boulder Police Department warned locals to ‘avoid the area’.
One person was taken from the shooting scene to Foothills Hospital in Boulder, said Rich Sheehan, spokesman for Boulder Community Health, which operates the hospital.
However, they did not release the condition of the patient.
One video of the incident from YouTube shows two victims lying on the ground in the parking lot of the store.
At least one victim is seen lying on the floor inside the store just moments before more gunshots are heard. Local reports say one victim is a police officer.
Television helicopter video showed law enforcement vehicles and officers massing outside, including SWAT teams, and at least three helicopters on the roof of the store in Boulder, about 25 miles northwest of Denver.
Women hug on the corner of Broadway and Table Mesa Drive near a King Soopers grocery store following the shooting
Healthcare workers, who were administering COVID vaccinations at the store’s pharmacy, and shoppers are tended to after being evacuated from the store
Officers from the Boulder Police Department are seen standing outside the grocery store on Monday
SWAT teams descend from the roof of a King Soopers grocery store after the shooting
Police use firefighting equipment to enter a King Sooper’s grocery store where a gunman opened fire on Monday
A SWAT team member runs toward the King Soopers grocery store where a gunman opened fire on Monday in Boulder
Police stand outside the King Soopers grocery store where the deadly shooting took place on Monday afternoon
Officers are seen on an armored truck as it approaches the scene of the shooting on Monday
Law enforcement officers sweep the parking lot at the site of a shooting on Monday
An armored vehicle is seen parked outside the supermarket on Monday
Law enforcement officers sweep the area outside of the King Soopers grocery store
Investigators are seen wearing protective gear as they walk inside the supermarket on Monday
Officers and EMTs are seen standing outside the grocery store where the incident occurred
Police work on the scene outside a King Soopers grocery store where a shooting took place Monday
Ryan Borowski told CNN that he was in the store when the shooter opened fire.
‘We told employees what was going on so everybody helped each other and we just ran to safety as quickly as we could,’ Borowski said.
‘I didn’t see the shooter. I saw terrified faces running towards me and that’s when I turned and ran the other direction.
Borowski said that Boulder ‘feels like the safest spot in America and I just nearly got killed for getting a soda, you know, and a bag of chips. Doesn’t feel good’.
A man who said he was shopping at the store told KCNC-TV that he heard ‘one loud bang, thought somebody just dropped something an employee or something, and then another, and then by the third one, everybody was running’.
He said they ran to the back of the store, found the employee area and workers told them how to escape. He said they walked single file, with their arms on the backs of those in front of them.
Another man told KCNC said his family was inside the pharmacy at King Soopers to get a Covid-19 vaccine when the shooter entered the building.
‘I got the call from my daughter and my grandchildren that my son-in-law walked into the pharmacy for him to get a Covid-19 shot and the shooter came in, shot the woman in front of them,’ the man told the station.
He said his family then hid in a closet for an hour before they were rescued.
‘They were texting, hiding in the coat closet. Turned their phone off and were going ‘we’re hiding, we’re okay’ you know, ‘don’t call’ you know the phone would ring and give away their position,’ he added.
Police officers stand outside the parking lot of the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder
Police officers and an ambulance are seen at the scene where an active shooter was reported at a grocery store in Boulder
Police respond to the scene of a King Soopers grocery store after the shooting on Monday
Law enforcement SWAT teams from Jefferson County and Boulder were dispatched to the market in the southern part of the city of Boulder.
The FBI is also on the scene.
‘At the request of the Boulder Police Department, FBI Denver personnel are assisting with an investigation into an active shooter situation at a King Soopers grocery store on Table Mesa Drive in Boulder,’ the FBI’s Denver branch tweeted.
One man told KDVR that he was ‘terrified’ and ‘in shock initially when we realized what was happening’.
The man said he was on his to pick up coffee from King Soopers when the shooting started.
Through tears, he noted that ‘people my age, my generation are used to this’.
A person who answered the telephone at a nearby sandwich shop said he and his employees were locked down in the back of the store and all were safe.
Someone who answered the phone at nail studio next door said she and her colleagues were safe. Neither had details on what happened at the market across the street.
The attack was the seventh mass killing this year in the US, following the March 16 shooting that left eight people dead at three Atlanta-area massage businesses, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.
It follows a lull in mass killings during the pandemic in 2020, which had the smallest number of such attacks in more than a decade, according to the database, which tracks mass killings defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter.
Police in Atlanta are still investigating suspected gunman Robert Aaron Long’s motive in connection with the shooting on Tuesday. The FBI is assisting with the investigation.
All eight deceased victims were identified as: Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Soon C. Park, 44; Hyun J. Grant, 51; Suncha Kim, 69, and 63-year-old Yong Yue.
Long, a 21-year-old Atlanta-area resident who is white, told police that sexual frustration led him to commit the violence.
Father-of-seven cop killed in Boulder shooting wanted a new job ‘off the front lines’ to protect his family, his father reveals as his sister posts heartbreaking childhood photo
Eric Talley had been looking for a new job away from the ‘front lines’ to protect his family and avoid something like this happening, his father has revealed.
In the aftermath of the massacre, Talley’s father said the slain 51-year-old officer had been learning to become a drone operator so he could step away from the front line.
‘He didn’t want to put his family through something like this,’ his father Homer Talley said.
Talley is survived by his his wife and their seven children. Their youngest child is seven years old.
Talley had been working as an officer for just over a decade after enrolling in the Aurora’s Police Training Academy when he was 40 years old. Talley, who had a master’s degree, had quit his stable IT job in 2010 after one of his close friends died in a DUI crash
‘He loved his kids and his family more than anything,’ his father said.
It comes as Talley’s sister Kirstin paid tribute to her brother with a heartbreaking childhood photo of them both, saying she could ‘not explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many’.
‘Officer Eric Talley is my big brother. He died today in the Boulder shooting,’ she wrote in her tribute.
‘My heart is broken. I cannot explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many. Fly high my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn color blindness). Soar.’
Talley had been working as an officer for just over a decade after enrolling in the Aurora’s Police Training Academy when he was 40 years old.
Talley, who had a master’s degree, had quit his stable IT job in 2010 after one of his close friends died in a DUI crash.
‘He was pretty driven to join law enforcement,’ his police academy friend Jeremy Herko told the Washington Post.
Another friend said Eric Talley (far left) had ‘loved serving his community’ and said they were ‘glad you were a part of my life growing up together’
‘That was his life. He absolutely loved his job and wanted to serve the community.
The Boulder police department shared a photo of Talley in uniform with the caption: ‘Rest in peace Officer Eric Talley. Your service will never be forgotten’
‘It was remarkable to me that somebody would go to law enforcement from IT. He lost pay. He lost time away from his family. He joined the police academy without a guaranteed job.’
In a separate social media tribute, Herko said of his slain friend: ‘He was a devout Christian, he had to buy a 15-passenger van to haul all his kids around, and he was the nicest guy in the world.’
Another friend named Kevin Lederer posted a picture of Talley in his younger days and said that the fallen police officer had loved his job.
‘RIP Eric, my old friend. I know you loved serving your community. I am glad you were a part of my life growing up together,’ he said.
After joining the force, Talley made headlines in 2013 as one of three officers who helped save 11 ducklings that had become stuck in a drainage ditch with their mother.
Talley eventually waded into calf-deep water to rescue the ducks one by one from the pipes, the Boulder Daily Camera reported at the time.