The shooting was the seventh mass killing of the year, following a mass shooting at a trio of massage businesses in Atlanta earlier this month.
(CN) — Prosecutors formally charged a Colorado man suspected of opening fire on a Boulder grocery store with 10 counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Thursday marked the first court appearance of 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. It was the first time the Aravada man was seen in public since being apprehended at the scene on Monday. He was hospitalized for a gunshot wound to the leg.
“The investigation is in the very early stages. It is anticipated that additional charges will be filed in the weeks ahead,” said the 20th Judicial District’s office in a statement. “Today’s court appearance will be the first court appearance in what will likely be a lengthy court process.”
Alissa’s defense requested he be receive a health assessment and be given two weeks to review the evidence collected by investigators.
The victims, aged 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.
“Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa unlawfully, feloniously, after deliberation, and with the intent to cause the death of a person other than himself attempted to cause the death of Officer Richard Steidell,” according to the complaint.
On Monday afternoon, prosecutors say Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa opened fire on the King Soopers in the Table Mesa neighborhood of Boulder with an assault-style weapon and a semiautomatic handgun. He wore a green tactical vest and jeans. Officers arrived on the scene at 2:40 p.m.
In a police affidavit released Tuesday, investigators discovered Alissa bought a Ruger AR-556 on March 16, but it’s unclear from the affidavit if that was the assault-style weapon used.
The affidavit also detailed an interview with Alissa’s sister-in-law, where she disclosed seeing him “playing with a gun she thought looked like a ‘machine gun’” days before the shooting.
Investigators declined to speculate about his motive.
According to the affidavit, Alissa “did not answer questions, though he asked to speak to his mother.”
In addressing the tragedy, President Joe Biden urged Congress to close the loophole on background checks, limit magazines and ban assault weapons.
“I hate to say it because it’s been said so often, our hearts go out,” Biden said from the White House.
“The United States Senate, I hope some are listening, should immediately pass the two House-passed bills that would close loopholes in the background check system,” Biden said. “These are bills that received support from both Democrats and Republicans in the House. This is not and should not be a partisan issue, this is an American issue and it will save lives.”
This is the latest tragedy added to Colorado’s infamous modern history of massacres including the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School, the 2012 mass shooting at a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, and the 2019 murder at STEM School Highlands Ranch.
Data compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University puts Monday’s attack as America’s seventh mass killing so far this year. The sixth happened on March 16 in Atlanta, when eight people were shot and killed at a trio of massage businesses.
In 2020, the country saw the smallest number of such attacks in more than a decade, according to the database, due to the coronavirus pandemic.