By Anoushka Shah
Boston University News Service
The suspect charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of ten people at a Colorado supermarket is due for his first court hearing on Thursday.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alisa, 21, is being held at Boulder County Jail until his hearing. The motive for Monday’s shooting in the city of Boulder remains unclear, according to police.
The shooting first unfolded at around 3 p.m. at Boulder’s King Soopers grocery store branch, less than a week after another mass shooting in Atlanta made national headlines.
Supermarket employees said that they saw Alisa shoot an elderly man in the parking lot, before entering the store. According to Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold, the department was first made aware of the incident at 2:30 p.m. local time, when residents were warned on Twitter about a shooter on the loose and advised to steer clear of the vicinity.
Among the victims was Teri Leiker, 51, an employee who had worked at the supermarket chain for 31 years, and Police Officer Eric Talley, 51, a father of seven who had served in the Boulder Police Department for more than a decade. He was the first to enter the scene.
Authorities arrived at the scene ten minutes later and were subsequently joined by SWAT and a local hospital ambulance. Wounded, Alisa was taken to the hospital.
While the weapon used has not been officially confirmed, several 911 calls suggested that it looked like a patrol rifle, according to the police department. It is unclear where it was bought from, but an affidavit released on Tuesday confirms that it was purchased 6 days prior to the incident.
The case is currently being investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other federal agencies.
The Boulder Police Department shared a link to donations for families affected by the mass shooting on Twitter last evening and thanked the residents for their support.
As the incident is the second mass shooting this week, supporters of gun control are expressing rising concern, including Boulder resident Ann Lii-Rosales who questioned the gun laws on Twitter, using the hashtag #banguns.
On Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pushed back at Democrats who call for gun control measures in the wake of mass shootings, calling it “political theater.” He said that such legislation would be ineffective.