Tragedy Strikes: Shooting in Boulder, Colorado

On Monday afternoon, a gunman opened fire in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. The supermarket was filled with shoppers who were suddenly taken aback by the sound of gunshots. Ten people lost their lives in an attempt to escape: Denny Stong, 20, Neven Stanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62 and Jody Waters, 65.

When the shooting began, supermarket employees and customers began dialing 911; Officer Eric Talley was the first to arrive at the scene. In an attempt at stopping the gunman, he was shot dead within minutes of arriving. Soon after, police officers surrounded the building, SWAT units were put in place and the gunman was asked to surrender. One victim reported hearing the gunman say, “I surrender. I’m naked.” Shortly after this statement, officers entered the building and escorted all of the victims out of the supermarket.

The gunman has been identified as 23-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa who lived in a suburb near the supermarket. According to the New York Times, Alissa was a name that had already been brought to the attention of the FBI as a result of his association to someone who was already under investigation. The suspect had been found guilty of misdemeanor assault as a high school senior—meaning this surge of violence was not something that could be considered sudden. His brother stated that two days before the shooting, his girlfriend had seen Alissa “playing” with something that resembled a machine gun—even though he used a rifle and pistol in order to execute the shooting. Those that know the subject tended to describe him as a person who tended to react in an overly angry manner that was uncalled for in light of certain situations. His brother even described him as “mentally ill [and] paranoid.”

President Joe Biden addressed the situation and called for Congress to enact legislation that would essentially ban assault weapons. He stated that the events that have taken place in the past week are more than unacceptable, and that action should be taken as soon as possible. The President had not made such a statement on gun control during his run for presidency nor has he made this kind of statement in the past few months of his presidency. The events of the past week have fueled the White House into searching for a decrease in gun violence as soon as possible.

This is the second mass shooting the United States has seen this week. The other shooting being in Atlanta, Georgia when a gunman attacked Asian-Americans in a seemingly racially motivated manner. According to the Violence project, mass killings such as the ones that have occurred in the past week have not happened since almost one year ago. Occurrences like this continue to build a divide in politics today and raise questions about whether or not restrictions should be placed on the second amendment.

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