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Officials identify 10 victims, suspect in Colorado grocery store shooting

Colorado grocery store shooting
Posted at 4:45 AM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 15:02:08-04

Monday marked another grim day of gun violence in America, as 10 people were shot and killed at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.

"This cannot be our new normal. We should be able to feel safe in our grocery stores. We should be able to feel safe in our schools and movie theaters," Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colorado, said during a Tuesday morning press conference.

Just after 4:30 p.m. ET on Monday, a gunman began shooting at a King Soopers grocery store. When police arrived at the scene, they were fired upon by the gunman.

Among the 10 people killed was Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley. A procession of emergency vehicles escorted an ambulance carrying his body to a local funeral home on Monday evening.

Police have one suspect in custody. He’s been identified as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Arvada, Colorado. He’s being charged with 10 counts of murder. Police could not confirm a motive for the shooting as of Tuesday morning.

The suspect was treated for a leg injury at a local hospital and was transported to the Boulder County jail upon his release from the hospital.

Shortly after the shooting ended, a bystander video showed police escorting a shirtless man with a bloody leg away from the scene in handcuffs. Police have not confirmed if that man is the suspect and accused gunman, though an affidavit for his arrest says he suffered a "through-and-through" bullet wound to the leg and that he removed a tactical vest, his shirt and a pair of jeans prior to his arrest.

The affidavit also notes that the suspect purchased an "AR-style pistol" just last week.

Authorities believe Alissa is the only suspect involved.

"We will hold the evildoer to the full extent of the law for his actions," Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said during a press conference Tuesday.

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said the county coroner's office worked overnight to identify all of the victims and notify the next-of-kin. The ages of the deceased range from 20 to 65. Here are their names:

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

"Not only did we lose 10 lives, but this is horror and terror for all of us," Polis said. "...this is a loss for all of us, and we mourn those who fell as a state, and we mourn those who fell as a nation."

Eyewitnesses reported a terrifying scene on Monday and reported seeing bodies lying on the ground both inside and outside of the store.

Sarah Moonshadow lives just a mile away has been coming to the King Soopers daily for a while. She and her 21-year-old son, Nick, heard the gunshots and got down.

She said she heard multiple gunshots. The two started running to leave the store. On the way out, Moonshadow said she saw an older man laying in the street.

"There was a guy laying out in the street as soon as we got outside. And I started running toward him to try to help him, and my son said, ‘No, we can’t help him. We’ve gotta go’” Moonshadow said.

She said she wanted to stop, but she needed to keep running because they were still too close and they didn't know if the shooter was following them.

Andrew Hummel was in the store at the time of the shooting when he said he heard a loud bang and everyone began sprinting toward the back of the store. He was able to get out safely. He says he heard multiple gunshots while he was inside.

"I pray that everybody impacted by this is doing all right," Hummel said.

Hummel's friend and roommate, Mason, works at the King Soopers. He is also OK, but Hummel said his friend texted that he didn't know if he'd make it out alive.

“One of the biggest like scary texts he sent, he just said ‘I love you guys. Thank you for everything in case things go bad.’ That was a really hard text, especially for me being in this situation. That was something I would never want to hear from any of my friends. Because I knew the seriousness of what was going on. It was horrifying. It was truly horrifying,” Hummel said.

Monday’s shooting was the second mass shooting to take place in the U.S. in as many weeks. Last Tuesday, eight people were shot and killed at three separate Atlanta-area spas. Six of the eight people were killed were women of Asian descent. The suspect in that shooting, Robert Aaron Long, faces murder charges, and officials have said they are also considering hate crime charges.

Monday's shooting marked the deadliest in the U.S. since August 2019, when 22 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. That same weekend, 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at a bar in Dayton, Ohio.

It also marks the sixth high-profile shooting to occur in Colorado since 2012.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story mistakenly noted that police had confirmed that the man escorted away from the scene was a suspect.