May 9, 2021

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Boulder, Colorado shooting: The terrifying hour as employees and shoppers hid when a gunman went on a shooting spree in King Soopers

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The employees and some shoppers fled up the stairs of the Boulder, Colorado, store to hide in the backroom as the suspect roamed the store, according to an affidavit for an arrest warrant. Police would receive multiple calls that day reporting that a man had opened fire.

The first calls were reported at 2:30 p.m. local time, according to police. By 3:28 p.m. it was over.

And what was a regular day of errands and chores in a Colorado town was shattered forever. While some shoppers and employees managed to hide in terror, ten people were shot dead by a lone assailant.

Monday’s victims, including a store manager and a police officer, were Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; Jody Waters, 65.

A suspect, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was taken into custody the day of the shooting and is facing 10 counts of murder in the first degree. His first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday morning.

Inside the King Soopers, pharmacy technician Maggie Montoya heard the first shot and saw everyone around her scatter, she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. She hid under a desk while a pharmacist held a chair against the door. She heard a series of gunshots and screams — but then silence, broken only by the store music and ringing phones.

It sounded like the gunman was right outside her door when she heard him tell authorities: “I surrender. I’m naked.”

The suspect had removed all of his clothing down to his shorts and was bleeding from a “through and through” gunshot wound in his leg when he turned himself into the police, the affidavit said.

Though the suspect is in custody, Colorado residents and officials are left to grapple with the violence that has impacted the community they felt so safe in.

“This is just where everybody goes to pick up groceries,” Gov. Jared Polis said. “Never ever does it cross your mind that that trip to the grocery store could be your last moments on earth.”

Questions that remain

The shooting in Boulder, which comes less than a week after eight people were killed in shootings at three Atlanta-area spas, has stoked fear and confusion.

“I promise that all of us here will work tirelessly … to make sure that the killer is held absolutely and fully accountable for what he did,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said Tuesday at a news conference.

Here's what we know about the Boulder, Colorado, mass shooting suspect

The motive in the Boulder killings — one of several mass shootings in the US over the past week — isn’t immediately known.

There was no indication of alcohol or drug use, the affidavit said.

An AR-15-style pistol, modified with an arm brace, was used in the shooting, a senior law enforcement source told CNN on condition of anonymity. A search of the suspect’s home turned up other weapons, the source said.

“A photograph of the items that the male removed on scene included a green tactical vest, a rifle (possible AR-15), a semiautomatic handgun, a pair of jeans and a dark colored long-sleeved shirt. There was much blood around the items,” the affidavit said.

The suspect did not answer officers’ questions about other suspects, but he did ask to speak to his mother, the affidavit said.

Parents, and officer and a non-profit worker among those lost

Witnesses told dispatchers they saw the assailant shoot at police, the affidavit said. Officers had exchanged gunfire with Alissa at the store, Police Chief Maris Herold said.

Officers wrote that Talley, the first officer at the scene, was down and had to be dragged out by SWAT officers, the affidavit said. They reported Talley had a gunshot wound to the head.

Talley, a father of seven children ages 5 to 18, once had a different profession and “didn’t have to go into policing, but he felt a higher calling,” Herold said Tuesday.

A young grocery store manager and a heroic officer were among the 10 Boulder shooting victims

“He cared about this community … and he was willing to die to protect others,” she said.

One of the other victims, Rikki Olds, was a front-end manager at the store, her uncle, Bob Olds, told CNN.

She was a “strong, independent young woman” who was raised by her grandparents, he said. “She was so energetic and charismatic and she was a shining light in this dark world.”

Denny Stong was a “wise young man,” according to his coworker Logan Ezra Smith.

“Me and him were both big Second Amendment supporters and would go shooting on the weekends,” Smith said. “I will miss his smile and his laugh but as well as his honesty. He put you in your place.”

Suzanne Fountain “was a person who all of her life really was about doing service, helping others,” her longtime friend Helen Forster told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

Forster said she met Fountain during a community theater production in the late 1980s and later hired her to work at her non-profit organization, where Fountain worked for 17 years.

“She would be the first person that people would see when they walked in the door of the non-profit building that we operate, and she just would take care of everybody. She was calm and reassuring when things were stressful,” Forster said.

CNN’s Konstantin Toropin, Alisha Ebrahimji, Steve Almasy, Paul P. Murphy, Blake Ellis, Whitney Wild, Melissa Gray, Keith Allen and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

2021-03-24 03:57:23

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