In a press conference marking one month since 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Boulder grocery store, law enforcement officials acknowledged Thursday that it’s only the beginning of a “long and difficult journey” for victims’ families and the community at large.
“It’s because of the victims and their families that we’re here today,” said Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty, whose office is leading the prosecution of the alleged shooter. “We’re going to work as hard as we possibly can to reach the right outcome and to ensure that the shooter is held fully accountable.”
A victim advocate with the DA’s office has been assigned to help each of the families of the 10 shooting victims during an “unimaginably difficult time,” Dougherty said. He also encouraged community members to visit the Boulder Strong Resource Center, which is open Tuesday through Sunday at the Chase Bank at 603 S. Broadway in Boulder and offers a variety of counseling and mental-health resources for those impacted by the shooting.
“I really encourage folks to take good care of themselves, to continue to come together and move forward together past this crisis,” Dougherty said.
Dougherty’s office also announced on Wednesday night that prosecutors have filed 43 additional charges against the suspect in the shooting, 22-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Arvada, bringing the total number of charges to 54.
The new charges include more than 30 counts of attempted first-degree murder, with many of the alleged victims identified as officers from the Boulder Police Department and other agencies who responded to the scene, as well as one count of assault in connection with a victim who was injured while fleeing the shooting. In addition to Boulder Police officers, first responders identified as victims of attempted murder include officers from the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and a park ranger from Boulder County Open Space.
Prosecutors have also charged the suspect with 10 counts of possession of a large-capacity magazine in the commission of a crime of violence. Dougherty said that a total of 10 large-capacity magazines were found on the shooter’s person and in his vehicle.
Dougherty declined to provide specific information on how the alleged shooter may have acquired the magazines, but said that investigators don’t yet have any information indicating that they were sold to the suspect illegally.
“If there was a store or dealer that sold the magazines illegally, charges could be filed and would be filed against that store or individual,” Dougherty said. “We don’t have any indication at this point, but it’s still early in the investigation and we’re still looking into that.”
“I’m not going to share just yet the details around where each one of those were bought,” he added. “And that’s in part because that’s still being investigated and looked into for some of the magazines.”
State lawmakers banned the sale and possession of magazines holding more than 15 rounds following the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. But Colorado gun stores still routinely sell easily reassembled “parts kits” for large-capacity magazines that don’t violate the law, a 2019 investigation by 9News found.
Dougherty said that investigators don’t have any information pointing to a possible motive or any links to terrorism. “We’re going to keep working as hard as we can to uncover that, and once we do, if we do, we’ll share that with you,” he said.
At least 115 people were inside the King Soopers store at the time the shooting began, and another 25 were in the parking lot, Dougherty said. He praised the actions of law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting, highlighting the fact that no civilians were killed after Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley entered the store and was fatally shot.
The alleged shooter was taken into custody after being shot and injured by one of the responding officers, and is currently being held without bond. The next court date in the case is scheduled for May 25, and Dougherty said that additional charges are likely to be filed in the future as officials continue their investigation.
“From the very first moments after the shooting took place up until today … federal, state and local agencies have been working as a team, around the clock, to make sure that the investigation and prosecution goes exactly as it should,” Dougherty said. “I promise you that we will work tirelessly to make sure that justice is done.”