Colorado suspect was seen fiddling with gun days before shooting, documents say

WION Web Team
Colorado, United States of America Published: Mar 24, 2021, 09:03 AM(IST)

Tribute to victims of Colorado mass shooting Photograph:( WION Web Team )

Story highlights

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa is in jail awaiting an initial court appearance on murder and other charges. Authorities said they were confident he acted alone.

The suspect indicted in the Colorado mass shooting was seen sitting in his car and fiddling with a gun, two days before police say he armed himself with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and a handgun and donned a tactical vest.

The gun did not look like a rifle featured in old Western movies. Rather, it looked like a "machine gun," his sister-in-law told police.

That day, the sight rattled the family. 

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, in response, said a bullet had become stuck. The family took it away from him, upset he was playing with a gun in the house.

On Monday, police said, the 21-year-old man stormed a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder and killed ten people with a spray of bullets.

Also read | Suspect in Colorado store shooting is charged with 10 counts of murder

Little is known about Alissa or what may have motivated him to open fire at the store. The ten victims ranged in age from 20 to 65 and included Eric Talley, an 11-year veteran of the Boulder police force.

According to the court affidavit, Alissa purchased a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic pistol -- a weapon that resembles a semi-automatic rifle and has a 30-round capacity -- on March 16, six days before the shooting. His sister-in-law told investigators that she believed the gun his family had taken from Alissa was back in his room as of Monday night.

Alissa had once faced a court summons for third-degree assault after punching a classmate in the face multiple times -- in November 2017, according to an incident report released on Tuesday by the Arvada Police Department.

Alissa told the investigating officer the classmate had previously called him a "terrorist" and other racist names and had taken a video of him in the classroom and posted it online, making him angry.

Also read | 'It's absolutely tragic': US Vice President Kamala Harris condemns Colorado mass shooting

The suspect's 34-year-old brother told The Daily Beast that Alissa was antisocial and paranoid, and had talked at times in high school about "being chased" or said someone was looking for him.

Alissa, who was treated for a leg wound suffered in an exchange of gunfire with responding police, is in jail awaiting an initial court appearance on murder and other charges. Authorities said they were confident he acted alone.

(with inputs)

Read in App