The Boulder Shooting
On March 22, 2021, yet another shooting occurred this time, in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people dead and many shocked, mortified, outraged, and disappointed, once again. The scene sets out as a normal Monday; people at King Soopers were calmly shopping and just trying to get through the day. Then, 21-year-old, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa began yelling and going on a rampage in the parking lot of the King Soopers. Alissa had been armed with a Ruger Ar-556 and was wearing an armored vest as well, according to CNN. Alissa started opening fire outside and inside of the store, resulting in the death of ten people. One of these ten people that were unfortunately shot was Boulder police officer, Eric Talley. Although it is unsure when the 911 calls started to come in, officers were dispatched at 2:40 pm and Talley was the first officer to show up within minutes. He then proceeded to push Alissa inside of the store. A tweet from Boulder police reads, “We think it’s important to share that officer Talley led a contact team of officers into the store within 30 seconds of arriving on scene”. Other officers at the scene were clearing the area and making sure everybody was safe until they heard a gunshot. According to CNN, a pharmaceutical technician, Maggie Montoya was helping with covid vaccines until she heard a gunshot sound through the store. Someone yelled, “Active shooter!” and customers responsively started to scatter everywhere, trying to save themselves. The team of officers soon found officer Talley in the back of the store, with a gunshot wound to the head. Before officer Talley was shot, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was arrested in the store with a gunshot wound on his leg and returned with the killing of Officer Talley. According to HuffPost, Boulder Police Chief, Maris Herold shared some words about who Officer Eric Talley was, “He cared about this community; He was willing to die to protect others." Chief Herold calls Officer Talley “heroic”.
The remaining nine victims of the shooting are known as store employee Denny Strong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; store manager Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Terri Leiker, 51; Keven Mahoney, 61; Lynn Muarry, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was arrested with 10 counts of murder in the first degree and has been located at the Boulder County Jail after being treated in the hospital for the gun wound on his leg. Alissa is facing a possible life penalty without the chance of parole. According to NPR News, prosecutors amended a criminal complaint on Alissa in hopes to add another 43 charges against him. This motion was filed that Wednesday in Boulder County District Court.
Alissa now faces 54 charges. 32 of these counts are attempted murder and the eleven officers at the scene are being named as victims of attempted murder. Alissa is also facing one more charge of assault in the first degree. On March 25th, Kathryn Herold, Alissa’s attorney has stated to the court that, “our position is that we cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa's mental illness."
Alissa’s motive for what he did is still unclear and Law enforcement is not giving out any motive for Alissa’s actions. The Arvada Police Department took a deeper look at Alissa’s past and found that he has been known for having anger issue problems. He had been convicted of assault in the third degree and a misdemeanor in 2018 for an incident that took place in November of 2017. According to CNN, Alissa “cold-cocked” a student in class for calling him racial slurs and then proceeded by punching this student several times in the head. Alissa was also charged in 2018 for criminal mischief.
New cries for harsher gun laws have once again reached the surface. Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a new rule where a five-day waiting period is enforced before purchasing a gun. President Biden has said that he has made a new call to impose laws banning assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Biden says, “This is not and should not be a partisan issue — it is an American issue, We have to act.” People of Colorado have become more afraid for their lives knowing that something like this could happen again; knowing that it is too easy for something like this to be repeated. Scars from the past have been opened up: The columbine shooting, aurora theatre shooting, planned parenthood shooting, STEM school shooting. It all makes you wonder when the violence will come to an end.
Story By: Hannah Trollope '22