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Accused Colorado grocery store gunman has previous assault charge

The 21-year-old suspect in the deaths of 10 people had stripped his clothes, tactical gear when he was taken into custody, according to an affidavit.

BOULDER, Colo. — The suspect in the Boulder King Soopers shooting was identified Tuesday as a 21-year-old Arvada man whose only previous charge was for a third-degree assault that a 2018 affidavit says occurred in 2017.

The Boulder Police Department (BPD) on Tuesday named the suspect as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, born April 17, 1999. He was being held in the Boulder County jail and was scheduled for a court hearing at 8:15 a.m. Thursday.

Alissa is accused of killing 10 people, including Officer Eric Talley, on Monday at the King Soopers on Table Mesa Drive. Officers were dispatched to the store at about 2:40 p.m. on a report of an active shooter. Alissa was taken into custody in the store at 3:28 p.m., according to the arrest affidavit released on Tuesday.

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A SWAT team that responded to the shooting in the store saw Alissa walking backward toward them to be taken into custody. He had removed tactical gear and clothing and was wearing only shorts, and he had a gunshot wound to his right thigh, according to the affidavit.

Items that Alissa had removed included a green tactical vest, a rifle that was possibly an AR-15, a semi-automatic handgun, a pair of jeans and a dark-colored long-sleeved shirt, according to the affidavit. According to law enforcement databases, Alissa had purchased a Ruger AR-556 pistol on March 16, the affidavit says.

There was no indication of alcohol or drug use. Alissa didn't answer questions but asked to speak to his mother. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, the affidavit says.

After the scene was secured, law enforcement found a black Mercedes C sedan in the parking lot that was registered to a man believed to be Alissa's relative. A green rifle case was in the front passenger compartment. One of the victims was found in a vehicle parked next to the Mercedes, according to the affidavit.

When Arvada Police Department detectives went to Alissa's home on Monday night, they stopped the vehicle of a woman leaving the home and interviewed her. She told detectives that she had been in a year-long relationship with a relative of Alissa, and had married that relative in the past month. She said that Alissa had been playing with what looked a machine gun in the house about two days before, according to the affidavit.

The only charge Alissa had faced previously was for a third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, that occurred Nov. 27, 2017, while he was in high school. He "cold-cocked" the victim in a classroom and then punched him several more times after the victim had called him racial names weeks earlier, according to a police report. Alissa was issued a court summons for the incident in February 2018.

The victim in that case released a statement on Monday via his attorney:

"Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the community of the senseless domestic attack in Boulder. While the community searches for answers to why and how, the family of Alex Kimose, the victim of an Assault by Alissa in 2017, wishes to clear the record. As corroborated by the police investigation and independent investigation consisting of over 30 interviews from witnesses regarding the Assault for which Alissa was convicted, Alex Kimose never bullied Alissa or used any racial slur. The attack was unprovoked. Alissa plead guilty to 3rd degree assault and we stand by that conviction."

The affidavit in Monday's shooting described Alissa as a white male, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and 200 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes.

No motive has been determined for the shooting, according to Boulder's police chief, however, NBC News reports that several law enforcement officials said Alissa appears to have a history of mental health problems, which may have been a significant factor in the shooting. Those same officials said, according to NBC, that "there is not, at this point, evidence that the shooting was an act of terrorism or a hate crime."

Credit: Boulder County Sheriff's Office
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa

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