BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Many details about Monday’s mass shooting at a Boulder grocery store remain unclear, but an affidavit released by the Boulder County District Attorney gives a glimpse of the terror and chaos that unfolded.
The first 911 calls were made to police at 2:40 p.m., but details varied caller to caller.
One caller described the shooter as a middle-aged white male with dark hair and a beard. That caller said he was wearing a black vest and a short-sleeved shirt. Another caller reported that the shooter was inside the refrigerator section of the store then left out of the store toward Broadway. A third caller described the suspect as a man who was about 5-foot-8 with a “chubby” build. This witness said the suspect shot a man in a vehicle then shot at other people.
An employee at the store reported seeing the suspect shoot an elderly man in the parking lot then walk over to him and shoot him multiple additional times.
Multiple callers reported they were hiding in the store and that there were several people down.
Police, including Officer Eric Talley who was killed, arrived a short time later.
Officer Richard Steidell said he saw the suspect shooting an assault rifle toward him. That officer uncertainly described the suspect as possibly blonde wearing a plaid shirt.
A different first responder, Officer Frederking, said he saw SWAT operators remove Talley’s body from the building behind a portable body shield.
Frederking said that a short time later he heard SWAT officers talking to a male who identified himself as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Arvada.
Just before 3:30 Alissa was taken into custody wearing only shorts. He had blood on his right thigh from what was described as a “through-and-through” gunshot wound.
According to Frederking, Alissa did not answer any questions but did ask to speak to his mother. There were no obvious signs of alcohol or other impairment at the time.
Alissa’s description after being taken into custody says he is 5-foot-6 and weighs 200 pounds. Inside the store police found a pile of items said to have been worn and used by Alissa that includes a pair of jeans, a dark long-sleeve shirt, a green tactical vest, a rifle and a handgun.
A total of 10 dead victims were found in the store and the parking lot, including one person who was killed in a vehicle.
Parked next to that vehicle was a black Mercedes C-class sedan registered to Alissa’s brother. In the car police found a green rifle case.
At 10 p.m., police responded to Alissa’s home in Arvada with a search warrant. When they arrived a white truck with Texas license plates was seen leaving the home being driven by a female. Officers stopped the vehicle and the woman identified herself as Alissa’s sister-in-law.
The sister-in-law said she’d been in a relationship with Alissa’s brother for about a year, and they’d gotten married just one month earlier. She said she wasn’t aware of what was happening and decided to go get dinner from a sandwich shop when she was pulled over by police.
She told police that a different brother had previously had a handgun and that just a few days earlier Alissa had been playing with what she called a “machine gun” and talking about how a bullet was stuck in the gun.
Police were able to determine that Alissa had purchased a Ruger AR-556 rifle just a few days earlier on March 16.
On Tuesday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation arrived at the shooter’s home. We recorded video of their arrival: