On Monday, Mar. 22, ten people were fatally shot in the King Soopers supermarket, located in Boulder, Colorado. One victim was a police officer who was the first to report to the scene. The suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, was arrested on-site and charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. The motive is unclear as officials continue the investigation of this recent mass shooting.
Alissa, 21, walked into the supermarket and opened fire at around 2:40 p.m., killing people aging from 20 to 65 years old. Panic and chaos erupted with the first gunshot as customers and employees alike scattered to hide. Maggie Montoya, a worker at the store’s pharmacy, hid under a desk for an hour, not realizing until later that the gunman came right by her location. Another employee said, “I thought I was going to die.”
Many of the victims lived in a close-knit community, now left devastated after the shooting. Several victims were graduates or parents of graduates of local high schools; three were employees, including a store manager; one was a police officer who served for 11 years.
The shooter was armed with a handgun and an AR-556 pistol, an AR-15 style rifle originally designed for the battlefield. It was banned in Boulder until a state district court judge blocked the city’s enforcement of the assault weapon ban just over a week ago. AR-15 rifles have been used in several high-profile shootings, including the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Las Vegas shootings. Police are also investigating whether an illegal 30-round magazine was used.
This was the second mass shooting within the span of a week: the Atlanta spa shooting left eight people dead, six of which were women of Asian descent. Calls for a national assault weapon ban and universal background checks increased as new shooting records are broken each year. President Biden addressed the nation in a tone of somber and called for immediate action from Congress. This horrific event once again brought the nation’s attention to the issue of gun rights.
Glendora High School senior Carissa Dycus was in disbelief when she heard about the shooting. She expressed her discontent with the lack of action when these shootings happen.
“[To have gun control,] something drastic has to happen — what can be more drastic than multiple people dying?” Dycus questions. “It’s horrific. You’d think it’ll be enough for other people to wake up and say ‘Hey, something’s not right here.’”
2021 has already seen more than 100 mass shootings in the U.S. according to the Gun Violence Archive. While President Biden calls for an assault weapon ban and increased background checks, it is unlikely it will overcome the divided Senate. The future of gun control lies uncertain as the country continues to mourn for the victims of the Boulder shooting.