By now, most of us have heard about the bloodshed in Boulder. The picture of what happened is coming into clearer focus. Here what we know.
Let’s begin with his name.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa
From the moment his name was released it was clear this story was going to become a narrative tug-of-war. Let’s stick to what we know.
The arrest affidavit provides new details about what took place inside the store, drawing from 911 emergency calls and interviews with people who were present when mayhem erupted at the King Soopers grocery store on Table Mesa Drive.
Store employees told Detective Joanna Compton that they saw the suspect shoot an older man in the parking lot.
“The suspect then walked up to the elderly man, stood over him and shot him multiple additional times,” the affidavit said. The employees said the gunman was a “fat” man wearing a tactical vest.
“They hid upstairs in the back room of the store and continued to hear shots fired inside the store,” the document said. —NPR
By the time all was said and done, the attacker was apprehended with a gunshot through his leg, and ten victims had been shot in cold blood… including one police officer who is leaving behind seven children.
The emerging players in this drama seem to be Race, Religion, Nation of origin, mental illness, and (you guessed it) gun control. Early reporting set out some of the contours of what this particular news story was going to revolve around.
Alissa was born in Syria and spent most of his life in Colorado, he wrote on Facebook. He wrote about Islam on social media, saying, “Muslims might not be perfect but Islam is.” According to court documents, Alissa bought a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic rifle on March 16, days before the shooting. Police said in an arrest affidavit Alissa did not say anything to officers at the scene but did ask for his mother. According to police, Alissa stripped off his clothes inside the store and was bleeding from his leg when he was arrested. The rifle, a handgun, body armor and his clothes were strewn about where he was taken into custody along with a substantial amount of blood, according to the arrest affidavit.
…Some of Alissa’s Facebook posts reflect the paranoia and mental health issues his family has mentioned to reporters. He went by Ahmad Al Issa on Facebook, but authorities confirmed the legal spelling was Alissa.
…Alissa wrote in July 2019, “Yeah if these racist islamophobic people would stop hacking my phone and let me have a normal life I probably could.”
…He wrote after Election Day in November 2016, “Regardless of political affiliation, I think it says a lot that one party has had the first minority president and the first women who might be our next president. Trump won, only time can tell what will happen other than that I will remain optimistic.” — Heavy
According to his social media, his family arrived in the USA from Syria in 2002, when he was 3 years old.
JUST N – Facebook has reportedly scrubbed the account of Ahmad Al-Issa, the suspect of the Boulder bloodbath. Screenshots: pic.twitter.com/lyENLQX3hS
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) March 23, 2021
Alissa’s identity was known to the FBI because he was linked to another individual under investigation by the bureau, law enforcement sources told the New York Times — though the report didn’t say who that person is, or what they were being probed for. — NYPost
There has been some online chatter about this being ‘inspired by ISIS’, or was possibly motivated in response to the killing of Solemani, but we cannot confidently confirm how authoritative these reports are.
With this information as the fodder for conversation — together with his pale complexion — social media over this event has become a free-for-all.