Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa killed ten people using an AR-556 rifle at a King Soopers grocery store in Colorado.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of gun violence that some readers may find distressing
The Boulder supermarket gunman was laughing as he fired bullets in the grocery store, killing 10 people, according to the police and witnesses. As per official records accessed by Denver Post, police radioed that "this guy is laughing at us." Angelina Romero-Chavez, a witness who survived the attack at the grocery store, said the same about the shooter to the publication. “We could hear a man chuckling,” said the 23-year-old, who had hidden from the gunman while shots rang out around her. “Gunshots were close. We believe it was him chuckling," she added. Romero-Chavez survived the attack by barricading herself inside of a storage closet along with her boyfriend Amos Plentywolf. The couple along with a few others blocked the door using boxes and supplies at the store.
On March 27, 2021, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa killed ten people after spraying bullets using an AR-556 rifle at a King Soopers grocery store in Colorado. Boulder police officer Eric Talley, who was the first responder at the scene, was one of the ten victims of the shooting. Alissa, who was identified a few days after the shooting, was arrested at the scene. He was wearing nothing but shorts and his arm and leg were covered in blood. Alissa, who is a resident of Arvada, between Boulder and Denver, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and one charge of attempted murder, as per his arrest warrant. He is held without bond and has been moved to a correctional facility outside of the county after jail officials were alerted of threats to his safety. Alissa had made his first appearance in court on March 25 morning.
Reminder as speculation begins about Boulder shooter's motive that we never learned of motive to deadliest mass shooting in US history- the 2017 Las Vegas rampage that killed 61— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 23, 2021
Sick people do sick stuff & availability of high-powered guns means they can kill many in the process
His lawyers requested the judge to delay the next hearing for three months, to assess his mental health. The lawyers insisted "we cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa's mental illness." Judge Mulvahill granted the request and ruled that Alissa will be held without bail. Alissa was seen in a wheelchair, wearing a face mask and a blue paper gown. He was wheeled out of the courtroom by a police officer at the end of the hearing. At the time of the arrest, Alissa was limping and had to be taken away in an ambulance.
As we reported, Alissa's family emigrated from Syria, and he's been living in the United States for most of his life. His brother, Ali Aliwi Alissa, said the shooter was bullied in school over his name, which turned him into an "anti-social," reported CNN. Ali said his brother was "paranoid" and may have been suffering from mental illness. Alissa believed people were following him and even posted on Facebook that he suspected his former high school of hacking into his phone. "He always suspected someone was behind him, someone was chasing him," said Ali. "We kept a close eye on him when he was in high school." The shooter wasn't very political or particularly religious, said his brother. "I never ever would have thought he would do such a thing. I never thought he would kill. I still can't believe it. I am really sad for the lives that he wasted, and I feel sorry for all those families. ... We lost a brother even if he is the killer," said Ali.
The Boulder Police do not have a motive for the killings yet and it's haunting the police force, said Chief Maris Herold. "Like the rest of the community, we too want to know why. Why the King Soopers Why Boulder? Why Monday?" said Herold said at a press conference, reported USA Today. "It’ll be something haunting for all of us until we figure that out. Sometimes you just don’t figure these things out, but I am hoping that we will."
Cover image source: Getty Images | (L) Photo by Boulder Police Department, (R) Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images