The Boulder Shooting Suspect Has Been Identified

10 people, including a police officer, were killed in a mass shooting at a grocery store in Colorado on Monday.
March 23, 2021, 3:03pm
A police officer is seen outside broken windows at King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive in Boulder after reports of shots fired on Monday, March 22, 2021.

The suspect in the Boulder supermarket shooting has been identified as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa of nearby Arvada, Colorado, according to Boulder Police Chief Maris Harold.

Al-Issa is suspected of killing 10 people at a King Soopers grocery store Monday, in the second high-profile mass shooting in the U.S. in less than a week. 

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He has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder, according to authorities, and is currently being held at a hospital. He will later be transferred to Boulder County Jail. 

Harold said Al-Issa was injured during a shootout with police, and was taken into custody shortly before 3:30 p.m. local time Monday. 

The victims ranged in age from 20 to 65. They were identified by police on Tuesday as Denny Stong, 20, Neven Stanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Eric Talley, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, and Jody Waters, 65. 

Talley was the first police officer to respond to the scene on Monday. All of the victims’ families were notified by the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

On Tuesday, police did not give a timeline of events other than when shooting began and when they took the suspect into custody.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider, the head of the FBI’s Denver office, said Wednesday that it would be “premature for us to draw any conclusions at this point in time” with regards to a motive for the shooting. Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said the investigation could take a year or more to complete. 

“We will hold the evildoer responsible for his actions to the fullest extent of the law,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said at Tuesday’s press conference. 

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The crime scene is still being processed.

Boulder Police tweeted at 2:49 p.m. on Monday that there was an active shooter at the King Soopers supermarket, and told people to avoid the area.

Law enforcement surrounded the store, and authorities demanded that the suspect surrender, local station KDVR reported.

A man who had just left the grocery store, Dean Schiller, heard gunfire, and livestreamed the shooting and the aftermath. His footage showed victims lying on the ground motionless, and police entering the building.

Video footage captured by news station KMGH showed a man in handcuffs, wearing no shirt or shoes, being escorted away from the grocery store by police.

Two survivors of the shooting told the Denver Post that they were inside the store when the gunman entered the building.

“He just came in and started shooting,” one witness said. The other told the paper that a gunman “let off a couple of shots, then was silent, and then he let off a couple more. He wasn’t spraying.”

Many people who were in the store when the shooting began were able to escape through the back door.

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In 2018, Boulder passed an assault weapons ban following the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Less than two weeks ago, a court in Colorado struck down that law. Boulder was still deciding last week whether to appeal the court decision, or drop the case.

The Denver area has suffered several major mass shootings over the past few decades.

On April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris murdered 10 of their fellow students, a teacher, and injured dozens of others at Columbine High School. The act of violence ushered in an era of school shootings which has been defining for U.S. students ever since.  

During a midnight screening of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012, James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 others. He was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Ryan Borowski was inside the grocery store when the shooting started yesterday.

"Boulder feels like a bubble, and the bubble burst and that's heartbreaking,” he told CNN. “To think that people died today. This 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."