Police encountered a “very significant number of shots” while responding to the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 10 people, a Colorado prosecutor said Friday.
That shooting will lead to additional charges of attempted murder against suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, according to Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty.
The officers “entered the store and immediately faced a very significant number of shots from the shooter, who at first they could not locate,” he told reporters during a press conference. “They put their lives at risk.”
Alissa used a Ruger AR-556 pistol when she opened fire on a King Soopers grocery store on Monday, killing 10 people, including 51-year-old Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, authorities said.
The gun was legally purchased from a gun store in Arvada, the suburb where the suspect is from, according to Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold. Alissa, 21, also had a 9mm pistol, but did not appear to use that weapon, authorities said.
Nearly 170 investigators from federal, state and local agencies have logged more than 3,000 hours analyzing the crime scene and desperately seeking to find a motive for the carnage, according to authorities.
So far, it is unclear what motivated the gunman.
“Do we want to know why?” Herold said. “Why that King Soopers? Why Boulder? Why Monday? And unfortunately at this point we still don’t have those answers.”
He warned the community that there is always the possibility that the motive will never be clear.
“It will be unsettling for all of us until we find out,” Herold said. “And as someone said, sometimes these things just don’t get resolved. But I hope we do. “
Alissa has been charged with 10 counts of murder, with additional charges likely to be filed in the next two weeks, according to the Boulder prosecutor.
Dougherty said he and police want to limit their public comments on the case, fearing that they might inadvertently increase pre-trial publicity and cause a change of venue.
“I want to make sure that the people of Boulder have the opportunity for this trial to take place and that justice is served here in Boulder County,” said Dougherty.
It is a heavy burden for a trial to be moved out of town, said local defense attorney Martin Stuart, citing the 2012 Aurora movie theater massacre. The trial remained in Arapahoe County despite great publicity and the efforts of the suspect’s legal team to achieve this. moved.
“Venue change is extremely difficult and rare,” said Stuart, former president of the Colorado Criminal Lawyers Association. “Colorado law requires the defense to show that there is ‘actual prejudice’ because the pre-trial publicity was ‘so massive, pervasive and damaging as to create a presumption that the defendant will be denied a fair trial.’ “
Talley, the murdered officer, was the father of seven children. He has been hailed as “the definition of an American hero” by President Joe Biden.
The other nine killed Monday were Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49 years old; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51 years old; Kevin Mahoney, 61 years old; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.
Alissa was shot in the leg by police who responded and was arrested. The public saw him outside the market when an aerial news video showed police escorting a man in handcuffs, his right leg covered in blood. He was not wearing a shirt or shoes.
Alissa’s defense attorney said Thursday that she will need a thorough review of her client’s mental health before proceeding with any legal proceedings.
The officer who wounded Alissa is an 11-year veteran who was placed on administrative leave, which is a routine in officer-involved shootings, police said Friday.