Colorado Mass Shooting Suspect Allegedly Bought Assault Weapon Less Than 1 Week Before Massacre

by : Emily Brown on : 24 Mar 2021 16:53
Colorado Mass Shooting Suspect Allegedly Bought Assault Weapon Less Than 1 Week Before MassacrePA Images

The suspect accused of killing 10 people at a supermarket in Colorado is said to have bought his assault weapon less than one week before the attack. 

The 21-year-old shooter has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder after the attack at the King Soopers store in Boulder on Monday, March 22, with victims including parents, a police officer and multiple supermarket employees.


Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, from the Denver suburb of Arvada, was described as using an AR-15-style pistol modified with an arm brace during the attack, and after he was arrested police found the gun, a tactical vest, a semiautomatic handgun and his clothing inside the supermarket.


An arrest affidavit cited by the Associated Press states that the gunman purchased the assault weapon on March 16, just six days before the attack.

It is unclear exactly where he bought the gun from, but after the shooting his sister told detectives that Alissa had been playing around with what she thought looked like a ‘machine gun’ approximately two days before the attack.


The attack came just days after eight people lost their lives to a gunman in Atlanta, and marks the deadliest mass shooting in the US since an assault on a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman killed 22 people in 2019.

Investigators working on the Colorado case have not revealed a motive, though a law enforcement official cited by AP said Alissa’s family expressed belief that he was suffering some type of mental illness, including delusions, at the time of the attack.

There Have Already Been 104 Mass Shootings In US So Far In 2021PA Images

Relatives reportedly described instances when the suspect claimed people were following or chasing him, which they suggest may have contributed to the violence at the supermarket.


Just 10 days before the shooting, a judge blocked a ban on assault rifles that was passed by the city of Boulder in 2018. President Joe Biden called on Congress to tighten the nation’s gun laws in the wake of the attack, stating, ‘Ten lives have been lost, and more families have been shattered by gun violence in the state of Colorado.’

One of Alissa’s former wrestling teammates, Angel Hernandez, described him as ‘one of those guys with a short fuse,’ adding, ‘Once he gets mad, it’s like something takes over and it’s not him. There is no stopping him at that point.’

Alissa was treated at a hospital after the attack, during which he received a gunshot wound in his leg, and was then booked into the county jail.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Boulder, Colorado, Gun Laws, Gun violence, Mass Shooting, Now


Associated Press and 1 other
  1. Associated Press

    Colorado suspect got assault weapon 6 days before shooting

  2. CBS News/Twitter