Boulder Colorado Supermarket Shooting – Sitting Ducks

One trained, good guy with a gun could have stopped the one bad guy with a gun.

FACTS – What is known . . .

  • Incident duration: >58 minutes
  • Fatalities: 10
  • Victims:
    • Ages: 20 – 65
    • Genders:
      • Male: 4
      • Female: 6
    • First victims: 2 victims (1st victim – Neven Stanisic and 2nd victim – Kevin Mahoney) shot in parking lot outside King Soopers
  • Gun used: Ruger AR-556 pistol
  • First shots fired: 2:30 PM 
  • 911 calls received: 2:33 PM
  • Scene secured: 3:28 PM

Suspect Assailant:

Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa

  • Age: 21
  • Marital status: Single
  • Nationality: Syrian
  • Immigrated to the U.S. in 2002
  • Residence: Arvada, Colorado

The assailant went on a 9 minute, unopposed shooting spree.

Officer Eric Talley was the last fatality.

The terrifying hour as employees and shoppers hid when a gunman went on a shooting spree at a Colorado grocery store

BOULDER, Colo. — A gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on Monday afternoon, killing 10 people, including a police officer, the authorities in Boulder said.

The police said that they had taken a suspect into custody after the shooting. That person was injured, the authorities said. Videos showed a handcuffed man being escorted from the building by officers, shirtless and with his right leg appearing to be covered in blood.

People inside the grocery, King Soopers, described a harrowing and chaotic scene inside the store.

“I thought I was going to die,” said Alex Arellano, 35, who was working in the meat department at King Soopers, in the South Boulder area, when he heard a series of gunshots, then saw people running toward an exit near his department.

The authorities identified the officer who died as Eric Talley, a 51-year-old who joined the department in 2010. Officer Talley was the first to respond to the scene when reports of a gunman came in, the police said.

“He was, by all accounts, one of the outstanding officers at the Boulder Police Department and his life was cut far too short,” said the Boulder County district attorney, Michael Dougherty.

Dean Schiller, who posted a live video from the scene shortly after the shooting began, said he heard about a dozen shots and saw three people who appeared to be wounded — two in the parking lot and one inside the supermarket.

As officers secured the building, more than a dozen people were led out of the supermarket, a King Soopers in a residential area a couple of miles south of the campus of the University of Colorado. The grocery store usually draws a mix of families and college students.

In Mr. Schiller’s video, gunshots could be heard coming from inside the store, with officers gathering at the entrance.

Over a loudspeaker, police officers called to the scene could be heard saying, “The entire building is surrounded, you need to surrender.”

“Come out with your hands up,” the officers said. Dozens of police officers and dozens of vehicles descended on the scene.

Newlyweds Quinlyn and Neven Sloan, both 21, had stopped into the store to pick up supplies for beef stroganoff when they heard the shooting. Ms. Sloan, a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said that at first she didn’t know what the noise was.

The couple had split up in the store — he was in produce, she said, and she was standing in front of the dairy case — when customers began running.

“It was muffled at first,” she said, “and I thought maybe someone had dropped something, but then it went again, probably about 15 to 20 shots, really fast. My husband came up and shoved me out the door, and yelled, ‘Call 911!’ Then he ran back in to make sure a couple of older ladies who were in the aisles got out OK.”

Sprinting across the parking lot, she said, she took cover behind a building, to be joined minutes later by her husband. Only then, she added, did they look down and realize that, because they hadn’t bothered to use a cart, they had fled with their arms full of the meat, noodles and sherry they had intended to buy.

“These were people going about their day, doing their food shopping, and their lives were cut abruptly and tragically short,” Mr. Dougherty said. “I promise the victims and the people of the state of Colorado that we will secure justice.”

— Bryan Pietsch, Will Wright, Neil Vigdor, Erik Vance and Shawn Hubler
‘The shots are getting closer.’ Witnesses recounted moments of terror, inside and outside the store.

Alex Arellano, 35, was working in the meat department at King Soopers when he heard a series of gunshots, and then saw people running toward an exit near his department.

“The shots are getting closer,” he recalled. “I’m thinking of my parents, and I was freaking out.” For a while, Mr. Arellano said he and two other men hid in the department. He did not see the assailant but could hear the gunfire.

“We were scared cause, you know, there’s entry points where that individual could show up,” he said. “I thought I was going to die.”

Mr. Arellano and the other men eventually escaped through an exit in the back of the building, he said.

Sarah Moonshadow was at the checkout with her son, when she, too, heard shots fired.

“We ducked and I just started counting in between shots, and by the fourth shot I told my son, we have to run,” she said. As they were running, two shots were fired in their direction, she said.

When they made it outside, they saw a body lying in the road.

“I can tell that he wasn’t moving,” she said. “And so, I’m pretty sure he was gone. And I just broke down across the street. I just couldn’t believe we were able to make it across.”

Ms. Moonshadow moved back to Boulder, her hometown, from Denver after she became concerned about Denver becoming unsafe. “This isn’t how Boulder is, you know,” she said. “This isn’t what happens here.”

Taylor Shaver, who works at Art Cleaners, a dry cleaning and laundry business near the supermarket, said that she heard at least 10 gunshots and saw people running from the grocery store.

“I’m in the bathroom hiding,” Ms. Shaver said. “I heard this loud boom. I instantly knew. There was a ton of shots. My stomach dropped.”

Ms. Shaver, 18, added that it was particularly unnerving because it was her first day working alone at the dry cleaning business. She said she had left the bathroom to see what was going outside the business.

“Oh my gosh, you can see all these people walking with their hands up,” she said. “I’ve never seen this many police officers in my life.”

Jordan Crumby, a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was about to get a tattoo with the word “warning” on her hip at Auspicious Tattoo, a shop across from the grocery store, when the shooting began.

Ms. Crumby, 31, said she stepped outside to record a video of the scene for her Instagram feed, when the police waved her away. Officers with tactical gear and rifles could be seen swarming the shopping center. People from the grocery store, she said, were being evacuated.

“They had their hands over their heads and they’re getting escorted out,” she said. “I said, ‘We should probably go inside.’”

Kevin Daly, who owns a restaurant and brewery in the shopping center, said he was inside, readying his business for reopening after the pandemic when his manager, in a bank across the parking lot, heard the gunshots.

“Someone saw the livestream, so we pulled it up and locked ourselves in the office,” he said, the start of an hourslong ordeal in which he and his employees periodically opened the door to shelter traumatized witnesses to the shooting.

“The guy just went in there and started shooting,” he said. “People were just in shock. A lot of them had seen bodies and carnage.”

Mr. Daly said he didn’t know who the victims were “and I don’t know what happened in the grocery store, but I do know that it is easier to get a gun in this state than it is to get a driver’s license or to vote.”