BOULDER — Authorities have identified the 10 people, including a police officer, killed in a mass shooting Monday afternoon at a King Soopers store in Boulder as chilling new details about the attack and the suspected gunman were unveiled in court documents.
The victims ranged in age from 20 to 65. They were:
- Denny Stong, 20
- Neven Stanisic, 23
- Rikki Olds, 25
- Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
- Suzanne Fountain, 59
- Teri Leiker, 51
- Boulder Police Department Officer Eric Talley, 51
- Kevin Mahoney, 61
- Lynn Murray, 62
- Jody Waters, 65
Stong, Olds and Leiker worked at the King Soopers.
“At this time we do not believe any are CU students,” Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said Tuesday morning at a news conference in Boulder.
Herold said the bodies of all of the victims were removed from the King Soopers in Table Mesa by 1:30 a.m. Their families were notified of their deaths by 4 a.m.
Herold also identified the alleged gunman as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a 21-year-old Arvada man.
The suspect, who was wounded in the leg in the shooting, is in stable condition. He faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bond at the Boulder County jail. Court officials say his first appearance before a judge is set for 8:15 a.m. on Thursday.
Arrest documents released Tuesday morning say Alissa had a green tactical vest, a rifle and a semiautomatic handgun. A woman who lived at the same Arvada home as Alissa told investigators she had seen him “playing with a gun she thought looked like a ‘machine gun'” just days before the shooting.
Law enforcement databases revealed Alissa purchased a Ruger AR-556 firearm on March 16, the documents say. The documents don’t say if that weapon was allegedly used in the King Soopers shooting.
The documents also provide details on Monday’s attack, but not a motive.
“(King Soopers) employees observed the suspect shoot an elderly man in the parking lot,” Alissa’s arrest affidavit says. “The suspect then walked up to the elderly man, stood over him and shot him multiple additional times.”
One responding officer was searching the King Soopers for the suspect when he found Officer Talley’s body. He then saw that the gunman was shooting toward him with a rifle.
Alissa did not answer investigators’ questions at first, though he did ask to speak to his mother. He was arrested at 3:28 p.m., about 50 minutes after the shooting began.
“Why did this happen?” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said. “We don’t have the answer to that yet.”
Dougherty said the suspect has “lived most of his life in the United States,” but he didn’t elaborate. Authorities are confident the community is safe and the suspect was the only person involved.
Dougherty warned that the investigation into the shooting could take up to a year.
Herold said she doesn’t believe the suspect was known to law enforcement. Investigators have spoken with him.
“The people who were killed yesterday were individuals going about their daily business when a man with a gun monstrously struck them down,” Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said. “They had family and friends, loves, passions, dreams of tomorrows that will no longer come for them. We feel these losses in our bones.”
Weaver said Boulder would bounce back.
“This is real horror and terror for all of us,” Gov. Jared Polis said at the news conference in Boulder on Tuesday morning. “We will hold the evil-doer responsible. And we will always remember the victims of the King Soopers shooting.”
The governor said Colorado can’t let shootings like the one on Monday become a normal occurrence.
“At times like this, it’s hard to see the light that shines through the darkness,” Polis said. “We all need space to mourn, space to be angry. Space to help those who were left behind. Space to ask the simple question ‘why?’ Space to support those who made it out of the grocery store with their lives, with lifelong scars that we cannot see. Space to celebrate the ten lives that were lost yesterday. And we need the fortitude to carry on.”
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, a Lafayette Democrat whose district includes Boulder, also spoke at the news conference.
“Ten friends, neighbors, sisters, brothers, parents, colleagues, community members,” he said. “Families that are grieving today woke up today without their loved ones.”
President Joe Biden also spoke about the shooting on Tuesday.
“Those poor folks who died left behind families, and leave big holes in their hearts,” he said, speaking at the White House. “We have to act so that there’s not more of you (mourning), there’s fewer of you, as times goes on.”
Biden said the U.S. Senate should immediately pass the two U.S.House-passed bills that would close loopholes in gun background checks.
“These are bills that received votes of both Republicans and Democrats in the House. This should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue. It will save lives, American lives. We have to act,” Biden said. “We have to act. We should also ban assault rifles in the process.”
Biden also praised the slain officer, calling Talley the “definition of an American hero.”
“When he pinned on that badge yesterday morning, he didn’t know what the day would bring,” the president said. “He thought he’d be coming home to his family and his seven children. But when the moment to act came, Officer Talley did not hesitate in his duty, making the ultimate sacrifice in his effort to save lives.”
As crime scene investigators worked to process the crime scene at the Table Mesa King Soopers Tuesday morning, a growing crowd of mourners stopped by to leave bouquets of flowers and tributes to the 10 people killed.
A woman and her 9-year-old son brought sunflowers to weave into the fence in front of the Table Mesa King Soopers. The woman, who declined to give her name, said she is friends with two employees at Boulder Police Department and was acquainted with Officer Eric Talley. Her husband often stops by the Table Mesa King Soopers for lunch.
“He needs to know that this is something that is happening,” she said of her son. “And without gun reform, it’s going to keep happening. I lost my mother to gun violence as a child, so for me it’s very deep — knowing that people lost their lives to something so senseless, something that could be controlled.”