Boulder Shooting

Boulder+Shooting

Janell Wang, Staff Writer

In an unexpected, tragic turn of events, a mass shooting occurred on Mar. 22 in Boulder, Colorado, when 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa entered a King Soopers supermarket and began shooting. A total of ten people were killed, including a police officer and employees of the supermarket. 

Alissa was eventually arrested and taken to a hospital for his injuries. During the shooting, 51-year-old police officer Eric Talley was the first to arrive at the scene, but was unfortunately killed while engaged in a shootout with the gunman. When Alissa was taken into custody from the hospital, he was marched out with Officer Talley’s handcuffs

“He cared about this community, he cared about Boulder Police Department, and he cared about his family. And he was willing to die to protect others,” said Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold about Talley.

The events that took place during the mass shooting were described as horrifying. As gunshots rang out, terrified shoppers fled and hid to get away from the shooter. While most were able to run away in time, ten were left dead. The victims include the aforementioned Officer Talley; store manager Rikki Olds, 25; store employee Denny Stong, 20; store employee Teri Leiker, 51; Neven Stanisic, 23; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Lynn Murray, 62; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Jody Waters, 65, and Suzanne Fountain, 59.

At the time, another employee of the supermarket, 21-year-old Emily Giffen, was there and managed to escape with her life. She was smoking outside when she saw a man coming across the intersection and several loud gunshots go off. 

“I just really am having a hard time understanding why me and my friends deserve to die,” Giffen said.

Asking why the gunman chose the supermarket specifically, she continued, “It doesn’t seem personal, so I don’t get why we pulled that lottery ticket.”

Alissa was shot in the leg and took off all of his clothing, with only his shorts left on, before surrendering. He faces 11 charges, including 10 counts of first-degree murder and one attempted murder. When arrested, Alissa did not answer police questioning regarding other possible suspects and instead requested to talk to his mother.

The motive behind the shooting has not been determined; however, Alissa’s family believes it to be mental illness. He went to court on Mar. 25, during which his attorneys requested a three-month delay in order to investigate. It was determined that Alissa will be held without bail until the next court date. Memorials and vigils were held in memory of the ten victims as families and friends mourned their losses.

 

Photo courtesy of USNEWS.COM