Media Production Editor
On Mar. 22, a 21-year-old-man named Ahmad Al Aliwa Alissa opened fire in King Scooper Grocery Store in Boulder, CO, killing 10 people including one police officer. He used a military-style semi-automatic rifle, a handgun, and an armored vest during the attack. Previously, Alissa had been convicted for assaulting another high school student in 2018 and was kicked off the wrestling team after threatening to kill everyone after a loss in a practice match. Later that week on Mar. 25, a judge accused the gunman of 10 counts of first-degree murder and denied him bail. He is currently undergoing a mental health assessment per request from his lawyers.
The murdered police officer, Eric Talley, was a 51-year-old father of seven and was the first officer to respond to the shooting. Michael Dougherty, the Boulder County District Attorney, said of Talley: “He died charging into the line of fire to save people who were simply trying to live their lives and go food shopping, and the man who gunned them down will be held fully responsible.”
Last Wednesday, over 500 people gathered to hold a candlelight vigil and mourn the victims. Several other vigils were scheduled throughout the week in the town, including a public event for Officer Talley. The supermarket, which is still closed as part of the investigation, has accumulated countless flowers and candles outside; Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver plans on having the city construct a permanent memorial nearby.
The attack happened within a week of another gunman shooting and killing eight people in Atlanta, GA, on Mar. 16. Following the Boulder attack, President Joe Biden gave his condolences to another city “scarred by gun violence” remarking that he “just can’t imagine how the families are feeling, the victims whose futures were stolen from them, from their families, from their loved ones, who now have to struggle to go on and try to make sense of what’s happened.”
Vice President Kamala Harris called the shooting “an absolute tragedy.” Afterward, Biden called on Congress to pass stricter legislation for the sale of semi-automatic rifles and increase background checks for gun licenses. Despite these efforts, Republican opposition has stalled the bill.
(Sources: CBS News, Reuters, NY Times, AP News, NBC News, CNN)