Crime

Facebook Profile of Suspected Boulder Shooter Quickly Pulled Down

Ahmad Al Issa's Facebook profile was quickly pulled down.
Ahmad Al Issa's Facebook profile was quickly pulled down. Facebook
Less than an hour after the Boulder police chief named the suspect in the King Soopers shooting that left ten dead on March 22, the Facebook profile of a person with the same name vanished from the internet.

"This suspect has been identified as Ahmad Al Issa, 21, of Arvada. He has been charged with ten counts of murder in the first degree," Chief Maris Herold said during a press conference at 8:30 a.m. on March 23. The victims of the shooter were also named; they ranged in age from 20 to 65.

The Facebook profile for a man named Ahmad Al Issa was pulled down around 9:20 a.m., with a "This Content Isn't Available Right Now" message showing up in its place. Westword was able to capture some of the profile's content just before it was removed.
Ahmad Al Issa has been charged with ten counts of first-degree murder. - BOULDER POLICE DEPARTMENT
Ahmad Al Issa has been charged with ten counts of first-degree murder.
Boulder Police Department
The photos on the Facebook profile match the photo of the suspect, full name Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, that the Boulder Police Department released this morning. And what little biographical information has been released about the suspected shooter also matches what was featured in the profile. For example, it noted that Al Issa was born in 1999 and attended Arvada West High School from 2014 to 2018, making the Facebook Al Issa around 21 years old and from Arvada.

According to the BPD, the first officers reached the King Soopers at 3600 Table Mesa Drive in Boulder at about 2:40 p.m. on March 22, following reports of an active shooter.

The officers engaged with the shooter, who was allegedly armed with an assault rifle, leading to an exchange of gunfire in which the shooter was shot. The shooter was taken into custody at 3:28 p.m. and transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Al Issa is now detained at Boulder County Jail.

According to the Facebook profile, Al Issa was born in Syria and came to the United States in 2002. It said that he studied computer systems engineering at Metropolitan State University of Denver. (According to MSU, "Boulder shooting suspect Ahmad Al Issa is not nor has ever been an MSU Denver student.")

Judging from his posts, Al Issa appears to be a fan of mixed martial arts as well as other athletic endeavors. A photo from April 2016 shows him walking on a wrestling mat while wearing an Arvada West uniform.

click to enlarge A photo from Ahmad Al Issa's Facebook profile from February 2017. The birthmark on Al Issa's face matches the one shown in a mug shot. - FACEBOOK
A photo from Ahmad Al Issa's Facebook profile from February 2017. The birthmark on Al Issa's face matches the one shown in a mug shot.
Facebook
In footage taken from a helicopter above King Soopers, the bloodied suspect looks old for 21, with a major bald spot on top of his head.

While the Facebook profile picture of Al Issa from February 2017 shows a young man with a full head of hair, a photo uploaded two years later shows a young man losing his hair at a fast clip.

In November 2015, Al Issa had used the French flag filter for another profile picture, something that many Facebook users did back then to honor the victims of terrorist attacks in France.

And where Facebook users can list their "Favorite Quote," Al Issa wrote that he was a 138-pound wrestler "trying to make the world a better place."
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.