Police Have Named Boulder Supermarket Shooter And 10 Victims
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Authorities in Boulder, Colo., have charged a 21-year-old man in a shooting rampage yesterday that left 10 dead, including a police officer. The alleged shooter has been identified as Ahmad Alissa. He faces 10 first-degree murder charges and an 11th charge of criminal attempt. Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold read the names of the victims at the press conference this morning.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)
MARIS HEROLD: Denny Stong, 20 years old. Nevin Statinsky, 23. Rikki Olds, 25. Tralona Bartkowiak, 49. Suzanne Fountain, 59. Teri Leiker, 51. Officer Eric Talley, 51. Kevin Mahoney, 61. Lynn Murray, 62. Jody Waters, 65.
CORNISH: Again, the Boulder Police chief reading the names of the 10 victims of the mass shooting in Boulder, Colo., yesterday. We're going to get the latest on the investigation from NPR's Kirk Siegler. He's in the Denver suburb of Arvada.
Hi there, Kirk.
KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Hello, Audie.
CORNISH: I want to start with the alleged gunman. You're outside the family home. What have you learned?
SIEGLER: Well, very little so far, Audie. No one from the family has come out in the several hours I've been out here. It's a pretty quiet suburban street. I can see all the curtains still closed in the home. Once in a while, we'll see a little child peer through and get a glimpse of the media gaggle parked out front here, as you can imagine. I'm about a half-hour from the King Soopers grocery store up in Boulder, where the alleged gunman is accused of going on that horrific shooting rampage, you know, at that store. It's a neighborhood mainstay. It's been there a long time. It's very close to the University of Colorado campus. We're still learning more about the horrific events in there.
But investigators did say today that the gunman used an assault rifle that he purchased on March 16. We don't know where he bought this gun, whether it was legally purchased at a store or acquired somewhere else. Audie, we have learned that he had one misdemeanor charge on his record going back to 2017. It was a third-degree assault charge that he served a year probation for. But again, it's very early. We're still waiting for this investigation to unfold.
CORNISH: Have investigators conveyed anything about his background or potential motive?
SIEGLER: Well, covering all these mass shootings, especially here in Colorado myself, I can tell you it's like this aftermath is the same kind of grim pattern. We just don't know yet about the motive. Investigators are keeping pretty tight-lipped in the 24 hours since. There was a lot of speculation on social media. But police are saying this investigation could take at least five days. There are reports now to your question that the gunman, Ahmad Alissa, was born in Syria, but he grew up here in the U.S.
Neighbors here on this street have told us they didn't have too many interactions with the family anyway. They said, you know, they hadn't lived in this neighborhood that long. We know the suspect went to high school near here in Arvada. He was on the wrestling team. Colorado Public Radio is quoting one local father here whose son wrestled against the alleged gunman. He said he was a nice kid. He also said he remembered he had had some anger management issues and frustrations. Again, though, there's just a lot we don't know. And we hope to learn more in this really troubling story in the coming hours and days.
CORNISH: We also heard the emotion in the police chief's voice reading those names. What more have you learned about the victims?
SIEGLER: Very emotional and very sad here - you know, they range in age from a 20-year-old young man to a 65-year-old woman. One of the victims caught in the horror was 61-year-old Kevin Mahoney. His daughter, Erika, described her father as a hero. She said on Twitter this morning that she was just so grateful that he'd gotten to walk her down the aisle last summer.
A lot of the early attention too has been on the one police officer killed - the veteran police officer in a standoff with the gunman. That was 51-year-old Boulder Police officer Eric Talley, who was the first on the scene. A relative of his in New Mexico posted that the family is just devastated, as you can imagine. We expect to hear even more stories of these victims as they're remembered here in Colorado and elsewhere in the coming days - just a very sad situation.
CORNISH: That's NPR's Kirk Siegler in Arvada, Colo., outside what's believed to be the home of the suspect in the shooting deaths of 10 people in Boulder yesterday.
Kirk, thank you.
SIEGLER: You're welcome, Audie. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.