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Suspect in Colorado shooting has a history of anger and delusions.



Suspect in Colorado shooting has a history of anger and delusions.
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Suspect in Colorado shooting has a history of anger and delusions.

Suspect in Colorado shooting has a history of anger and delusions.


Law enforcement officials and former associates of a 21-year-old man suspected of killing ten people at a Colorado supermarket identified him as a rage-prone individual who had been suspended from high school for a bloody assault on a classmate.

A day after the attack at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a resident of the Denver suburb of Arvada, was arrested on murder charges. He was scheduled to appear in court for the first time on Thursday.

According to an arrest affidavit, Alissa purchased an assault weapon on March 16, six days before the attack. According to Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty, investigators have not identified a motive. The location of the suspect’s purchase of the weapon was not immediately known.

Boulder police Officer Eric Talley, 51, was among the dead, according to police Chief Maris Herold. He was the first to arrive after responding to a call about shots fired and someone carrying a gun.

The suspect’s family told investigators that Alissa was suffering from some kind of mental illness, including delusions, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the shooting. Alissa told relatives that people were stalking or pursuing him at times, which they believe led to the violence, according to the official. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity since he was not allowed to speak publicly.

According to an arrest affidavit, investigators went to Alissa’s home after the shooting and found his sister-in-law, who informed them that he had been playing around with a firearm that looked like a “machine gun” around two days before.

The suspect’s father is known to own a home in Arvada, but no one answered the door Tuesday. The three-car garage, two-story house is located in a modern middle- and upper-class neighborhood.

According to a police affidavit, Alissa was found guilty of attacking a fellow student in class after knocking him to the floor, jumping on top of him, and hitting him in the head multiple times when he was a high school senior in 2018.

The affidavit stated that Alissa “got up in the classroom, walked over to the victim, and ‘cold cocked’ him in the head.” According to the affidavit, Alissa alleged that the student had made fun of him and called him “ethnic names” weeks before. The victim was bloodied and vomiting after the attack, according to an Arvada police investigation. Alissa was expelled from school and given a probationary period as well as community service.

Angel Hernandez, one of Alissa’s former high school wrestling teammates, said Alissa became angry after losing a practice match, shouting profanities and threatening to kill someone. For her outburst, Alissa was thrown off the squad, according to Hernandez.

Hernandez described him as “one of those guys with a short fuse.” “When he gets angry, it’s as if someone else takes over and it’s not him. At that point, there’s no stopping him.”

Alissa would also behave oddly at times, according to Hernandez, turning around abruptly or glancing over his shoulder. “’Did you see that?’ he’d ask. ‘Did you see that?’ Hernandez remembered something. “We wouldn’t be able to see anything. We still believed he was kidding us.”

According to Detective David Snelling of Arvada police, a separate criminal mischief case involving the suspect was investigated but dismissed in 2018. In February, the man was also cited for speeding. Snelling said, “Our community is obviously concerned and upset that the suspect stayed here.”

About 100 people attended a makeshift memorial outside the grocery store late Tuesday night, which was decorated with wreaths, candles, banners reading “#Boulderstrong,” and ten crosses with blue hearts and the names of the victims. There were therapy dogs on hand to provide comfort.

Four young girls huddled in the cold, one of them sobbing as she recalled how they had protested the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.

Eric Talley, 74, was identified by his father, Homer Talley, as a loving father who “knew the Lord.” He had seven children, ranging in age from seven to twenty.

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 Jodi Waters, 65 were among the other victims.

Jordan Sailas, a former coworker, said Leiker, Olds, and Stong worked at the supermarket.

Staff did their best to get customers to safety, according to Kim Cordova, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, which represents more than 30 store employees.

“They took anyone they could and hid them in the backroom or other parts of the store,” Cordova said. “And these poor supermarket staff have been through hell in general going through the COVID pandemic for the last year.”

According to a database collected by the Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University, Monday’s attack was the seventh mass killing in the United States this year, following the March 16 shooting that killed eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors.

According to the database, which monitors mass killings identified as four or more dead, not including the gunman, there was a lull in mass killings during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, which had the fewest number of such attacks in eight years.

President Joe Biden, speaking in Washington, called on Congress to tighten the nation’s gun laws. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised to introduce two House-passed bills to the Senate floor that would mandate extended background checks for gun purchasers. The bills have Biden’s support, but they face a more difficult path to passage in the Senate, which is tightly divided and has a small Democratic majority.

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