Boulder gunman, 21, was 'chuckling' as he murdered ten people

Boulder gunman, 21, was ‘chuckling’ as he murdered ten people inside King Soopers grocery store, witnesses say

  • Ahmas Alissa, 21, killed ten people inside the King Soopers on March 21 
  • His motive is still not known; friends say he was bullied as a teenager in high school 
  • Survivors are now sharing more details of how he made his way through the store
  • One described hearing the gunman ‘chuckle’ as he made his way through the aisles 
  • Others said one of the victims, Rikki Olds, tried to lock the doors before she died
  • Alissa is in custody awaiting his next court appearance on murder and attempted murder charges  

The gunman responsible for killing ten people at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder last week ‘chuckled’ as he carried out the attack, witnesses have revealed. 

Ahmad Alissa, 21, is in custody awaiting his next court date. He is being held on 10 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and more charges are expected.

It remains unclear what his motive for the mass shooting was. Friends and family say the shooter was a ‘paranoid loner’ who had never had a girlfriend and was bullied in school over his Syrian heritage. 

In a new interview with The Denver Post, witnesses have described hearing a man – who they believe was him – laughing as the shots rang out. 

‘We could hear a man chuckling. Gunshots were close. We believe it was him chuckling,’ Angelina Romero-Chavez said. 

Police also said across radio communications: ‘This guy is laughing at us.’  

Ahmad Alissa, 21, is in custody awaiting his next court date. He is being held on 10 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and more charges are expected

Alissa on the day of the shooting, being led out of the store by police. He ‘chuckled’ as he shot his victims, survivors say 

Workers told the Post how they hid behind trash cans to shield themselves from the shooter.

Logan Smith, one of the store employees, told how he had just had lunch with Rikki Olds, 25, when the shooting began. 

Olds was one of the ten people killed. Smith said it looked as though she was trying to lock the doors. 

She had been working at the self-service checkout. 

All of the witnesses describe Alissa as moving slowly and deliberately through the store. 

He was not running and he was not spraying bullets indiscriminately. 

The gunman was eventually cornered near the pharmacy area of the grocery store. He handed himself to police then asked to phone his mother. 

By the time he was taken into custody, he had removed his jeans, shoes and top. 

Witnesses said he had been wearing a green tactical vest beforehand. 

Alissa bought his AR-556 assault rifle a week before he carried out the killings.  


Eric Talley 

Officer Eric Talley, 51 

The Boulder cop and father-of-seven was one of the first on the scene. 

He joined the police force in 2010 with a background that included a master’s degree in computer communications, his father Homer said. 

He had recently changed jobs because he wanted to work away from the front line. 

His father said his son was a gun enthusiast, who even owned an AR-15 rifle – which is similar to the Ruger AR-556 used in the massacre. 

He was given a hero’s procession from the grocery store to the funeral home on Monday night. 

Rikki Olds, 25

Rikki Olds, 25 

Olds was identified by her aunt on Facebook. 

A front-end manager at King Soopers, Olds aspired to work her way up the ranks at the store, her family said. 

‘She was 25 years old, just kind of starting life, bubbly and energetic and charismatic,’ her uncle Robert Olds said 

Her aunt on Facebook both paid tribute to her and called for the shooter to ‘burn in hell’. 

‘We lost our beloved Rikki Olds to the monster who shot up the king soopers in Boulder CO yesterday may his rotten a** fry and burn in hell,’ her aunt Lori Olds said.  

Teri Leiker, 51

Teri Leiker, 51 

Leiker had worked at the store for 30 years and was dating a colleague, Clint, who survived the shooting. 

Her friends paid tribute to her on Tuesday.  

‘She loved going to work and enjoyed everything about being there. 

‘Her boyfriend and her had been good friends and began dating in the fall of 2019. 

‘He was working yesterday too. He is alive,’ her friend said on Facebook.  

She said Teri signed off all her calls with ‘your buddy Teri’ and that working in the store was her ‘favorite thing to do’. 

She also loved to watch the University of Colorado marching band perform in a kickoff celebration called the Pearl Street Stampede on Friday nights before home football games on the Boulder campus, band director Matt Dockendorf told The Denver Post.

Kevin Mahoney with his daughter

Kevin Mahoney, 61

Kevin’s daughter Erika Mahoney revealed that her  he was also among the victims.

She tweeted a touching photo of Mahoney walking her down the aisle for her wedding last year, alongside the caption: ‘I am heartbroken to announce that my Dad, my hero, Kevin Mahoney, was killed in the King Soopers shooting in my hometown of Boulder, CO.

‘My dad represents all things Love. 

‘I’m so thankful he could walk me down the aisle last summer. 

‘Thank you to the Boulder PD for being so kind through this painful tragedy.’

Denny Stong, 20

Denny Stong, 20 

Friends said Denny Stong, who was the youngest victim, was training to be a pilot. He also worked at the store where the shooting unfolded.

His Facebook profile photo has the caption: ‘I can’t stay home. I am a grocery store worker’ in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s unclear if he was in the grocery store to shop, or if he was there to get his vaccine.

On 8 March, he asked people to celebrate his birthday by donating to a pro-gun rights charity, the BBC reports.  

Lynn Murray, 62 

Lynn Murray, 62

Lynn Murray, a mother-of-two, was a retired New York City magazine photo director who had worked for Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Glamour before relocating to Colorado to raise her children.

Her family have revealed she was at the store at the time of the shooting to fill an Instacart order.

‘She was an amazing woman, probably the kindest person I’ve ever known,’ her husband John told the New York Times. 

‘Our lives are ruined, our tomorrows are forever filled with a sorrow that is unimaginable. She was one of the greatest people you’d ever want to know: hard working, loving and compassionate, caring, went out of her way to make sure everyone else had a smile on their face.

‘I just want her to be remembered as just as this amazing, amazing comet spending 62 years flying across the sky.’

Tralona Bartkowiak, 49

Tralona Bartkowiak, 49

Tralona Bartkowiak ran a small clothing and artisan store in Boulder and had recently become engaged.

Her store mainly sold yoga and festival attire. 

Bartkowiak had, in recent years, regularly attended festivals like Burning Man to advertise her business.

Jody Waters

Jody Waters, 65 

Jody Walters, a mother-of-two and grandmother, described herself as a ‘creative entrepreneur’. 

She owned a boutique store and was involved in the local retail fashion community.

Congresswoman Judy Amabile, who shopped in the store, called her ‘just super energetic and nice and fun’.

Neven Stanisic, 23 

Neven Stanisic, 23 

Neven Stanisic was a repairman who was at the store fixing a broken coffee machine, according to a reverend from his family church.

His family had fled from the war in Bosnia to the US in the 1990s. 

‘They avoided one tragedy by coming here, but now this tragedy struck them’, said Rev Radovan Petrovic

Suzanne Fountain, 59

Suzanne Fountain, 59

Fountain was an actress and a mother who later won loyal clients as a Medicare agent, doing extensive research to find the right supplemental coverage for older adults signing up for the federal health insurance program, her life partner Phi Bernier said.

‘She never skimped, she never did something because it was easier,’ he said.

Fountain trained at the Circle in the Square Theater School and the two first met while they were playing lead roles in ‘The Glass Menagerie’ about 30 years ago, Bernier said.

Up until the pandemic, Fountain was also the manager of eTown, a nonprofit live music venue in Boulder.

‘Suzanne was a bright light to all she met, and we were proud to have her represent eTown in our community as she welcomed people into our space hundreds and hundreds of times,’ the organization said in a Facebook post.

Fountain won praise for her acting from both reviewers and those who worked with her.


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