Colorado prosecutors filed additional charges of attempted murder and violation of magazine limits to a mass shooting suspect already facing 10 counts of murder.
BOULDER, Colo. (CN) — A Colorado man charged with the murders of 10 people in a Colorado grocery store will face more than 30 counts of attempted first-degree murder, prosecutors announced Thursday.
The motion filed Wednesday night names responding police officers as victims of attempted murder in first degree. Suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, of Arvada will also face charges of violating the state’s high capacity magazine ban.
“These charges may run consecutively but they represent the victims who deserve to be heard,” said Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty at a press conference Thursday.
He declined to speculate about the suspect’s motive.
“Motive doesn’t make a difference in the charges, but the victims want to know why so we will continue to investigate,” Dougherty said, adding motive often goes unknown in many criminal cases.
The victims, who ranged in age from 20 to 65 years old, included three King Soopers employees, several shoppers and a police officer.
Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, 51, had been with the police department since 2010 and was father to seven kids.
Authorities identified the nine additional victims as: Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.
Prosecutors say that on March 22, Alissa opened fire on the King Soopers in the Table Mesa neighborhood of Boulder with an assault-style weapon and a semiautomatic handgun. An estimated 115 people were in the store at the time and about 25 others were in the parking lot.
Officers arrived on the scene at 2:40 p.m.
“No civilians were shot and killed after officers charged in,” Dougherty said. “Three officers charged in during the first wave, including Officer Talley. Within 30 seconds of him being shot, a second wave of officers rushed in.”
In a police affidavit, investigators said Alissa legally bought a Ruger AR-556 on March 16, but it’s unclear from the affidavit if that was the assault-style weapon used in the attack.
Following the 2012 Aurora Theater shooting, Colorado limited magazine capacity to 15 rounds. Dougherty said law enforcement found 10 magazines on Alissa and in his car but declined to disclose their capacities.
“There is no reason to believe the magazines were illegally sold,” Dougherty said. “But they were possessed and used unlawfully.”
The affidavit also detailed an interview with Alissa’s sister-in-law in which she disclosed seeing Alissa “playing with a gun she thought looked like a ‘machine gun’” days before the shooting.
If convicted of the first-degree murder charges, Alissa faces life in prison without parole. Colorado lawmakers repealed the death penalty in 2020.
Each charge of attempted murder carries a sentence between 16 and 48 years in prison. Violation of the magazine ban carries a sentence of 6 to 18 years if convicted.
Alissa will next appear in court on May 25. Dougherty said he anticipates filling for additional charges as the investigation continues.