Police Officer Honored as Police Seek Motive in King Sooper Shooting

31 Mar, 2021 Liz Carey


Boulder, CO (WorkersCompensation.com) – On the day after a memorial service honoring a slain police officer, authorities are still seeking the motive for last week’s grocery store shooting. Officer Eric Talley, 51, was among 10 people killed when an armed man entered a King Sooper grocery store in Boulder, Col., and began shooting.

A 25-year-old front-end manager, Rikki Olds,was described as “very nice, very friendly, very caring.” He too became one of the victims in the incident.

Witnesses told CNN that a man dressed in black started shooting in the parking lot, where he killed three people – one in a car, and two left on the ground in the lot, before walking into the store and killing another seven, including Olds and Tally.

Later, the man came toward the officers, walking backwards, stripped of all his clothes except his underwear, and was bleeding from wounds he received during the gun fight.

Police identified the suspect as Ahmad Ali Aliwi Alissa, 21, of Arvada, a suburb of Denver. Alissa was taken into custody and treated at a hospital for injuries. He was charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree.

While authorities have not identified a motive for the mass shooting, Alissa’s brother described him to the Daily Beast as mentally ill, paranoid and antisocial. The accused shooter was convicted in 2018 of misdemeanor assault against another student in a classroom. At the time he told police it was in retaliation for insults and ethnic taunts, according to the New York Times. The paper says fellow students described Alissa as having a fierce temper that could be provoked in response to setbacks or slights.

Yesterday, law enforcement officials from several states turned out for the memorial to honor Tally.

Following the shooting last week, Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty praised officer Tally and said he would seek justice for all the victims.

"He died charging into the line of fire to save people who were simply trying to live their lives and go food shopping. And the man that gunned them down will be held fully responsible," Dougherty continued. 

“Regarding the suspect, at approximately 2:40 P.M. Monday, March 22, officers were dispatched to Kings Soopers,” Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said in a press conference. “They arrived on the scene within minutes and immediately entered the store and engaged the suspect. There was an exchange of gunfire. The suspect was shot and a number of other officers were injured." 

A representative for the grocery workers union said this puts grocery workers under even more stress. After a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the shooting gives front line workers more to worry about.

“These grocery workers have been through so much over this last year dealing with Covid. You know, customers, the mask issue — it's been really rough for these employees. … They were heroes throughout this whole pandemic and they were heroes during this incident,” Kim Cordova, president of UFCW Local 7 told CNN. “Everybody's really traumatized. There is a lot of shock.”

Witnesses said some shoppers inside the store rushed to the back in order to escape and got trapped in the store room. Workers at the store led them to the loading dock and helped them out of the building.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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