Boulder Police officials updated the public regarding Monday’s mass shooting at the King Soopers grocery store that left 10 people dead, including the first police officer to arrive on the scene, revealing they have charged the suspect with 10 counts of first-degree murder.
Police identified the suspect as Ahmad Alissa, a 21-year-old Arvada, Colo. man, though his motive for the attack was not specified at this time. Police also identified the 10 victims, whose families were notified by 4 a.m. local time. They range in age from 20 to 59 years old.
Authorities have identified the victims as Denny Strong, 20, Neven Stanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, Jody Waters, 65.
“Our hearts got out to all the victims killed during this senseless act of violence,” Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said Tuesday. She pledged that the department would “bring justice to each of these families.”
Police were first dispatched to the King Soopers on Table Mesa at approximately 2:40 p.m. local time, when officers arrived and “immediately engaged the suspect,” and shot him, Herold said.
A witness told The Associated Press he had just left the supermarket when he heard gunshots and saw three people lying face down, two in the parking lot and one near the doorway. He said he “couldn’t tell if they were breathing.”
Video posted on YouTube showed one person on the floor inside the store and two more outside on the ground. What sounds like two gunshots are also heard at the beginning of the video.
Officers could be seen leading a shirtless man with a bloodied leg out of the store in handcuffs, but authorities would not say at the time if he was the suspect.
Herold said Tuesday the suspect was taken into custody at 3:28 p.m. local time. He will soon be transported to the local county jail.
“I want to say to the community, I am so sorry this incident happened and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure this suspect has a thorough trial and we do a thorough investigation,” Herold said.
Monday’s mid-afternoon attack was the seventh mass killing this year in the U.S., following the March 16 shooting that left eight people dead at three Atlanta-area massage businesses, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.
The Daily Camera, Boulder’s local newspaper, called Monday’s mass shooting apparently “the deadliest in Boulder County history and among the deadliest in the state.”
The most recent attack in Boulder, about 25 miles northwest of Denver and home to the University of Colorado, stunned a state that has seen several mass shootings, including the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting.
On April 20, 1999, two teenage boys dressed in black trench coats went on a killing rampage at Columbine High School in suburban Denver. They shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded two dozen others before taking their own lives.
Just after lunch period began, two young men in black trench coats open fire in the parking lot. Then one gunman threw a bomb into the parking lot and the pair made their way inside, where they continued their heinous attack.
The gunmen, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were heavily armed with an assault rifle, sawed-off shotguns and handguns. They also went equipped with homemade grenades and pipe bombs.
Years later, on July 20, 2012, James Holmes killed 12 people and left nearly 60 injured when he opened fire at an Aurora, Colo. movie theatre attack. Holmes carried out the shooting during the midnight showing of the Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Aurora is approximately 35 miles from Boulder.
Holmes had on an all-black ensemble of protective gear at the time of the shooting and was believed to have hurled two gas canisters into the theater before opening fire, according to reports from the time.
He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Separate from mass shootings, another prominent case in the area was the 1996 death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. JonBenet was reported missing from her home on Dec. 26, 1996. Her body was later found in the basement of her family’s home.
As of 2016, police had collected 1,500 pieces of evidence, including the analysis of 200 DNA samples, traveled to 18 states to interview about 1,000 people and have received, reviewed or investigated more than 20,000 tips, letters or emails, a law enforcement official said at the time.
Boulder Police Department has, at times, come under fire for its handling of the investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.