Skip to Content

Boulder shooting suspect was moved from county jail after receiving threats

The man charged with killing 10 people in a Boulder grocery store has been moved out of county jail after officers became aware of “threats toward him” from other inmates, a jail official told CNN.

The suspected gunman, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, was relocated early Wednesday morning, according to Jeff Goetz, Division Chief of the Boulder County Jail.

Alissa was never in direct contact with the inmates and was not harmed, but other inmates were asking about him and making threats, according to Goetz. These questions were directed toward other officers.

The move preceded Alissa’s initial court appearance Thursday, where he was charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree. He remained seated in a wheelchair wearing a face mask and only spoke when the judge asked if he understood his rights.

Prosecutors said in court that more charges may be filed regarding Monday’s massacre, when Alissa allegedly shot and killed customers and employees at the King Soopers grocery store.

Authorities have not yet shared information on a possible motive. His brother, Ali Aliwi Alissa, told CNN earlier this week that he may have mental illnesses, and that he was bullied in high school over his name and for being Muslim. Alissa had become increasingly “paranoid” around 2014, believing he was being followed and chased, according to his brother.

During Thursday’s proceeding, Alissa’s lawyer, Kathryn Herold, noted that a full assessment of his “mental illness” was needed.

“We cannot begin to assess the nature and depth of Mr. Alissa’s mental illness until we have the discovery from the government,” she added.

The presiding judge, Thomas F. Mulvahill, agreed to set the next hearing in “about 60 to 90 days.”

“I want to make sure that the defense has ample opportunity to prepare to move forward,” Mulvahill added.

Vigils are held as friends honor those who were lost

As the court proceedings move forward, residents in the community continue to show support for the friends and families of those killed in the shooting.

The victims were: Boulder police Officer Eric Talley, 51; store manager Rikki Olds, 25; store employee Denny Stong, 20; store employee Teri Leiker, 51; Neven Stanisic, 23; Tralona “Lonna” Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.

On Thursday, a vigil was held at Boulder’s Fairview High School. Jana Bledsoe, a local elementary school teacher, attended the gathering and spoke with CNN about how she knew Officer Talley.

“He was just such a remarkable human being. Most of the incidents were very, very minor, having to do with mental health, homeless people that happen to end on our campus,” she said. “He managed them so beautifully, emotionally, compassionately.”

Bledsoe shared an incident that Talley had handled, when a homeless man was on school grounds.

“[Talley] went over, and he sat down with him and just said, ‘Hey, buddy. What are you doing?'” she said, as Talley “put his arm around him and said, ‘I understand,’ as the man washed his clothes.

“He was just at our school on Saturday. He was just the kind of person that I wish we could populate the entire planet with.”

Betsy Prowell attended the vigil with her family, who spoke about growing up down the street from the supermarket.

“We’re here today to support our community, and Boulder, we’re trying to stay strong. We live right down the street, about five blocks down…we know everyone, a lot or most everyone that works there. This is our neighborhood,” Prowell said.

“Everyone in Boulder is suffering right now. Everyone in the nation is suffering. Boulder will never be the same, our nation will never be the same,” she said.

‘He’s a real person’

Kevin Mahoney, one of the 10 killed in the shooting, was remembered as a loving father and husband who volunteered, loved hiking and helped clean up trails, his family told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday.

Ellen Mahoney, Kevin’s wife of 35 years, and their daughter Erika expressed their deep appreciation for the outpouring of support received by friends and others across the country.

“He was just so kind to everyone, and I think one thing we want people to know is, he’s a real person, and his loss has a ripple effect to so many people and the Boulder community and beyond,” Erika said, noting that she is expecting and that Kevin was elated for her.

Ellen said that she is thankful for the past year spent with Kevin as they endured the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It gave us time to be together. It reminded me almost like the beginning of our marriage. We took a lot of walks, we cooked together, we watched TV together,” she said. “I’m very grateful for this past year because we were both working together as a team under very difficult circumstances.”

As the family grieved following the shooting, Ellen received a condolence letter that she wished to share on air.

She read, “‘If you are in pain and suffering, remember who you truly are and breathe. You are as vast as the sky, as bright as the stars, as wide as the ocean, as strong as a mountain, and as beautiful as the first flower blooming in spring.'”

Article Topic Follows: National-World

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content