Crime

Inside the Affidavit of the Boulder King Soopers Shooting Suspect

Crime tape surrounded the Boulder King Soopers where the shooting took place.
KOAA via YouTube
Crime tape surrounded the Boulder King Soopers where the shooting took place.
An hour or so after the end of a March 23 press conference during which authorities identified Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa as the suspect in the previous day's shooting at a Boulder King Soopers in which ten people were killed, the District Attorney's Office for the 20th Judicial District released the arrest affidavit in the case.

Among other things, the document captures the confusion related to the scene (most witnesses described the suspect as white, though he's of Syrian descent), describes the tragic death of Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley in disturbing detail, and reveals that Alissa purchased at least one weapon within days of the shooting and was seen "playing with" a firearm compared to a "machine gun."

The affidavit's narrative was penned by Boulder Police Detective Sarah Cantu, who notes that at approximately 2:40 p.m. on March 22, officers were dispatched to the King Soopers located at 3600 Table Mesa Drive, in the southern section of Boulder, based on multiple 911 calls, not all of them consistent.

"One caller described the shooter as a White male, middle-aged with dark hair, a beard, a black vest, and a short-sleeved shirt," an excerpt reads. "Another caller stated they saw him in front of the 'Piggly Wiggly' and that he shot out the window of a vehicle and pursued a man toward Broadway. Another caller reported that the male was inside the King Soopers in the refrigerator section, and it was reported that the male suspect then left toward Broadway. An additional witness advised the suspect was wearing an armored vest and was about
5'8" tall, with a chubby build and approximately 280 lbs."


Other witnesses revealed that they'd heard shots inside the store or were hiding there. Additional reports maintained that there were "parties down" and that "the male suspect shot at police. The suspect was also described as having a black AR-15 and blue jeans and that he might have body armor on."

Before long, Boulder Detective Joanna Compton made contact with King Soopers employees who'd been looking out the store's windows when they observed "the suspect shoot an elderly man in the parking lot. The suspect then walked up to the elderly man, stood over him and shot him multiple additional times. They described the suspect as a big, 'fat' white male wearing a green tactical vest."

Also arriving on the scene was Boulder Police Officer Richard Steidell. He soon discovered Talley, who had suffered a bullet wound to the head and "appeared to be deceased."

After Talley's body was dragged to an area occupied by two of his colleagues, the BPD narrative continues, so-called "SWAT Operators" were seen entering the building with a portable body shield. A short time later, the SWAT personnel could be heard "in voice contact with someone" — after which Alissa walked backward to the officers and was taken into custody at around 3:28 p.m. He "had removed all of his clothing" — he left behind the green tactical vest, the rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a pair of jeans and a dark-colored, long-sleeved shirt — "and was dressed only in shorts," Cantu writes. "The suspect had blood on his right thigh" from what was later characterized as a "through-and-through gunshot wound."


Two Boulder officers walked Alissa to the corner of the King Soopers building and asked if there were any other suspects. Instead of answering that question, Alissa asked to speak to his mother, according to the document.

In the parking lot of the King Soopers, investigators found "a deceased party" in a vehicle parked next to a black Mercedes C sedan registered to an individual believed to be Alissa's brother. A green rifle case was inside.

Around 10:15 p.m., Cantu's account continues, after a warrant was approved to search Alissa's residence, Boulder cops made contact with peers from the Arvada Police Department. A short time earlier, APD members had seen a white Honda pickup with Texas plates leaving the home, with a female behind the wheel, and the woman, later identified as the wife of Alissa's oldest brother, was quickly taken into custody.

In her conversations with detectives, according to the BPD report, the woman said she'd seen Alissa "playing with a gun she thought looked like a 'machine gun' about two days ago. ... Alissa had been talking about having a bullet stuck in the gun." She maintained that two people whose names are censored in the document took the gun from him, but another unnamed individual "thought the gun might be back in Alissa's room now."

One more thing: A search of law enforcement data revealed that Alissa had purchased a Ruger AR-556 pistol six days earlier, on March 16.

Click to read the Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa affidavit.