Boulder shooting: Gunman kills 10 at King Soopers grocery store and faces 43 charges


Jenna Martinez, Writer

On Monday, March 22, 2021, a gunman opened fire in the parking lot at the King Soopers in Boulder, CO before entering the grocery store. In an hour, the shooter had killed 10 shoppers, employees, and a policeman who had responded to the scene.


This shooting has affected Colorado in many ways. No one expects to go grocery shopping and potentially lose their lives and no one expects a shooting to happen on what’s supposed to be a daily errand run. The Kroger company, the company that owns King Soopers, has held a candlelight vigil for those who have lost their lives in the shooting. JJ Witmer, an eleven-year-old boy went to the King Soopers in Commerce City and Brighton March 23 and handed out flowers to 70 employees followed by kind words of appreciation to the employees. 


For the lives lost, there is a GoFundMe page centrally located for all the fundraisers for the victim’s families. Suzanne Fountain, Rikki Olds, Officer Eric Talley, Jody Waters, Denny Stong, Tralona “Lona” Bartkowiak, Neven Staniscic, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray, and  Teri Leiker were all of the lives lost in the shooting. 


This is the third mass shooting of the year, the FedEx Facility, and the Bryan, Texas shooting coming before it. The suspect for this shooting is 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, who is currently charged with 10 counts of murder and an additional 43 charges. He has been ordered held without bail and is waiting for results on an assessment to “address his mental health issues.” A motive hasn’t been said or released as of yet which Boulder PoliceChief Marris Herold said in a press conference to be “haunting for all of us until we figure that out.” 


As a King Soopers employee, I find this event sad and disturbing. I wouldn’t expect to go into work and lose my life or for gunfire to ring out in a parking lot of a grocery store. The events taken after the candlelight vigil, and the acts of JJ Witmer show that Colorado can come together as a community to support each other in dark and scary times such as these. As we await for the trial to begin and for Alissa’s assessment results.


King Soopers has started to take protocols to help for future shootings. The company has released a training video that all employees must complete about what to do in case of a shooting happens. Now, when King Soopers is closing for the night, check stands are no longer blocked off with buggies, and they have been making an effort to make sure everyone knows where the exits are and the best ways proven effective to help you survive a shooter in the store. Their priority has been to make sure to try and prevent this in the future and if it does occur, that employees and customers know what to do and how to help themselves and each other. 


As we wait for a potential motive to come out and for the trial, it’s important to know that Colorado has stuck together in these strings of events and hopefully we can get an answer as to why this has happened soon. It’s relieving to know that the Kroger Company has been helping find ways to protect their customers and employees by educating them about potential actions they can take, what to do, know how to respond, and look out for. In these scary times, it’s important for us to know our options if another event like this occurs in the future.