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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.

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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Thousands gather as Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr. Marade returns to the streets after last year’s pandemic disruption

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Thousands gather as Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr. Marade returns to the streets after last year’s pandemic disruption

Wearing a purple shirt bearing the message “Proud of the Skin I’m In,” Denver resident Berlyn Borne carried two signs with her to the Martin Luther King Jr. Marade, including a framed drawing of King alongside Malcolm X and athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, fists aloft in their iconic pose from the 1968 Olympics.

“This one I bring every year,” she said.

Borne’s been attending the Denver Marade — in-person once again Monday after going virtual last year due to the pandemic — for about 25 years, and said she used to bring her two children when they were younger. But now that they’re 26 and 28, she takes pictures and video of the Marade to send back to them in Georgia, where they now live.

“Everybody can be a part of this,” she said, adding that she hopes the community gets involved just as people did during the civil rights movement. “We still need that same drive today, and take the same action that they took.”

Thousands of people gathered in Denver to honor King’s legacy and participate in the 37th annual march and parade along Colfax Avenue from City Park to Civic Center downtown.

Holding her 5-year-old daughter Lucille Jacobs, Emily Lay, who recently moved to the Denver area from Texas, said it felt “a little surreal” to be surrounded by so many people.

When asked what the day represents to her, Lay said, “My daughter is biracial. So it represents a world where she can be herself and not have to worry about any of the things that we had to worry about in the time of Martin Luther King Jr.”

The day’s events began at City Park, where a memorial statue of King stands, and local speakers and politicians reflected on the slain civil rights leader’s work and the progress that still has to be made.

“We have gone backwards, and as a generation, we have dropped the ball,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, noting that legislation passed in 19 states to restrict voting access shows his generation has dropped the baton from the previous generation.

“I have a dream today that you pick up that baton as you walk down Colfax Avenue today, and you realize the power of that baton that was handed off to us,” Hancock said.

Other Colorado elected officials at the event, including U.S. Sens. Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper, shared a similar message about the importance of protecting voting rights, especially as the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Democratic-sponsored legislation meant to counter Republican-led voting restrictions at the state level.

“This is a huge fight that we’re in right now. It’s a fight for our democracy,” Bennett said.

Keynote speakers included former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, who, while in the statehouse, repeatedly introduced legislation to establish an official Colorado holiday in King’s honor, and his wife and former state Rep. Wilma Webb, who successfully got legislation passed to create the state holiday in 1984.

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Las Vegas Raiders become the 4th NFL team searching for a GM after firing Mike Mayock. Here’s the latest in the NFL’s firing and hiring cycle.

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The Houston Texans fired coach David Culley, and a Chicago Bears coordinator has an interview with another team. Here’s the latest in the NFL’s firing and hiring cycle.

Change is in the air. “Black Monday” arrived in the NFL the day after the regular season ended with a flurry of major changes beginning around the league.

A week later, the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans were searching for new head coaches and the Bears, Vikings, Giants and Las Vegas Raiders were searching for new general managers.

The Bears had requested interviews with at least 15 GM candidates and 10 coaching candidates.

As a new cycle of firing and hiring proceeds, we’re tracking all of the latest moves.

Monday

The Las Vegas Raiders fired general manager Mike Mayock, the team announced.

The scoop: Mayock was the Raiders GM for three seasons, and his teams went 25-24, including 10-7 in 2021. The decision comes a day after a 26-19 playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders’ only postseason appearance in Mayock’s tenure. Mayock previously was a draft analyst with NFL Network and a TV announcer. Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigned in October after some of Gruden’s old emails containing racist, homophobic and misogynistic language surfaced. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia led the team to a 7-5 record the rest of the way. The Raiders are interviewing candidates for GM and coach, though they haven’t announced what Bisaccia’s future is with the team.

Thursday

The Houston Texans fired coach David Culley after one season.

The scoop: The Texans finished 4-13 in the only season under Culley, 66, a longtime NFL assistant in his first job as a head coach. The Texans were playing without Deshaun Watson amid allegations of sexual assault against the quarterback. Week 1 starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor played in only six games because of injury, and the Texans turned to rookie Davis Mills to start 11 games.

Since 1994, Culley has been a wide receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, with which he was also the assistant head coach, a quarterbacks coach with the Buffalo Bills and the assistant head coach/wide receivers coach/pass game coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens.

The Carolina Panthers are interviewing Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, according to ESPN.

The scoop: Tabor was the Bears special teams coordinator for all four seasons under Matt Nagy, and he served as interim head coach for one game in 2021 when Nagy had COVID-19. He previously was the Cleveland Brown special teams coordinator for seven seasons, spanning multiple head coaches.

Wednesday

The Chicago Bears added two more names to their general manager interview pool.

The scoop: The Bears have requested an interview with Pittsburgh Steelers vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan and New England Patriots senior consultant Eliot Wolf, ESPN reported. Khan had GM interviews last year with the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans. Wolf, the son of former Green Bay Packers GM Ron Wolf, has worked with the Packers, the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns.

Here are the updated candidate lists:

General managers

Coaches

Jan. 11

The Chicago Bears list of requested interviews has reached at least 8 general manager candidates and 9 coaching candidates.

The scoop: Recently fired Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores was a big name to pop up in a lengthy list of candidates the Bears have contacted about interviews.

NFL Network reported the Bears set up the interview with Flores, who went 24-25 in three seasons with the Dolphins. His last two seasons were winning ones, but the Dolphins didn’t make the playoffs.

Here are the other coaching candidates who reportedly have been requested:

Former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith is among the biggest names to be expected to interview with the Bears. Here’s a list of others:

The New York Giants fired coach Joe Judge after two seasons.

The scoop: In his first NFL head coaching stint, Judge, 40, went 10-23, including 4-13 in 2021. Playing without quarterback Daniel Jones down the stretch, the Giants lost their final six games by a combined score of 163-56. After the 29-3 loss to the Bears in Week 17, Judge went on an 11-minute rant defending his team while talking to the media.

It is the second big Giants move in two days after general manager Dave Gettleman announced his retirement Monday. With Judge out, there are now seven NFL head coaching jobs open.

Jan. 10

The Chicago Bears fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy.

The scoop: Pace is out in Chicago after seven seasons during which his teams went 48-65, qualified for the postseason twice and failed to record a playoff victory. In his first NFL head coaching stint, Nagy finished 34-31 with two playoff losses over four seasons.

The Bears never found the right fit between Nagy and a quarterback during his tenure , running through Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton and Justin Fields. Nagy’s offense remained stuck in the bottom third of the league in many categories . The Bears finished 6-11 this season.

The Bears have reached out to former Eagles coach Doug Pederson to schedule an interview for their head coaching role, according to a league source. An ESPN report also indicated the Bears have requested permission to interview Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for the job. The team, according to NFL Network, has also requested to speak with Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown for the GM opening.

The Minnesota Vikings fired general manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer

The scoop: Spielman was with the Vikings since 2006, first as the vice president of player personnel and then as the general manager since 2012. In that time, the Vikings went 132-123-2 with six playoff appearances.

Zimmer, a longtime NFL defensive coordinator, became the Vikings head coach in 2014. He led three seasons of 10 or more wins, three playoff appearances and two playoff victories. The Vikings finished 8-9 after a victory over the Bears on Sunday.

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman announced his retirement after four seasons in that role.

The scoop: In 2018, Gettleman became the general manager in an organization where he had spent 13 years previously in front office roles. But his efforts to resuscitate the franchise failed with the Giants experiencing their worst four-year stretch of losing in team history.

The Giants went 19-46 under Gettleman’s watch, including a 4-13 faceplant this season during which the offense finished last in the NFC in both total yardage and scoring. Gettleman announced his retirement Monday but may have been fired if he hadn’t. The future of coach Joe Judge remains uncertain and may hinge on what happens with their intensifying GM search.

The Miami Dolphins fired coach Brian Flores after three seasons.

The scoop: Flores was fired in his third season despite posting back-to-back winning seasons. The Dolphins were 5-11 in his first year, 10-6 in 2020 and 9-8 this season, but they didn’t make the playoffs in his tenure.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross released a statement saying he “determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins.” General manager Chris Grier will remain with the team in his current role, ESPN reported.

Jan. 9

The Denver Broncos have fired head coach Vic Fangio after three seasons.

The scoop: Fangio didn’t record a winning season in his three in Denver. He finished 19-30 in his first stint as an NFL head coach, including 7-10 this season. Fangio, 63, was a defensive coordinator in the NFL for 19 seasons, including four in Chicago, before he joined the Broncos in 2019.

Fangio’s defense this season ranked in the top 10 in yards and points allowed. But the Broncos offense didn’t produce well enough under Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, the latest in a revolving door of quarterbacks in Denver recent years.

Dec. 30-Jan. 7

The Jaguars have conducted at least five interviews to replace Urban Meyer.

The scoop: The Jaguars fired Urban Meyer on Dec. 16 after just 13 games with the team.

The team already has gotten deep into their search to replace him, reportedly interviewing former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson, former Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Read more of our coverage from Black Monday and beyond.

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The Chicago Bears interviewed Matt Eberflus for their coaching vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator.

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The Chicago Bears will interview Matt Eberflus for their coaching vacancy. Here’s what to know about the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator.

The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 15 general manager and 10 coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the process, we’re looking at each of the prospects.

Matt Eberflus interviewed for the head coaching position Monday, the Bears announced.

Matt Eberflus

Age: 51

Title: Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator

Experience

Eberflus has been the Colts coordinator for four seasons. Before that, he spent six seasons coaching linebackers for the Dallas Cowboys after a two-year stint in the same role with the Cleveland Browns. Eberflus also has 17 years of college coaching experience on his resume at Toledo (1992-2000) and Missouri (2001-08).

You should know

Eberflus finished third in 2018 in the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year voting. Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio won the honor that season with Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale finishing as the runner-up. This season, Eberflus oversaw a Colts defense that led the AFC in takeaways (33) while finishing in the top 10 in the league in points allowed (21.5 ppg). The Colts had three defenders named to the initial Pro Bowl rosters last month — lineman DeForest Buckner, linebacker Darius Leonard and cornerback Kenny Moore II.

The buzz

Players laud Eberflus for his communication skills and leadership style. He is known as a detail-oriented coach with a knack for connecting with players and fellow coaches. Eberflus has earned a reputation for being able to blend his strategic insight with the personnel he has to work with, loading his defense with only as much as players can handle.

What’s been said

”I would fully endorse and support anyone who ever called and asked me about Flus as a man, as a leader and as a coach. He is a worthy candidate. Obviously I don’t want to lose him. But I’m happy for him and support him.” — Colts coach Frank Reich, when Eberflus became a head coaching candidate last year

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