Home U.S Closer look: How the Boulder shootings unfolded

Closer look: How the Boulder shootings unfolded


A 21-year-old Colorado man has been charged with murder in the shooting deaths of 10 people Monday at a Boulder grocery store. One of those killed was Eric Talley, 51, a Boulder police officer responding to the scene.

Police identified the suspect as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Arvada, Colorado, a Denver suburb. He was hospitalized with a leg injury. A motive is not yet known. His family described him as paranoid and antisocial. 

The victims ranged in age from 20 to 65.

The investigation continues into the shootings, which began at about 2:30 p.m. as people were stocking up ahead of snow expected later that day. How the shootings unfolded (in Mountain time, approximate):

March 16

Alissa purchases a Ruger AR-556 pistol, an AR-15-style weapon.

2:33 p.m., March 22

Boulder police begin receiving calls about shots fired at King Sooper grocery store, 3600 Table Mesa, Boulder. A person with a “patrol rifle” is reported in the area.

Boulder police dispatcher announces a shooting in progress.

2:34 p.m.

Dispatcher says: “Looks like we have an active shooter. It’s a white male, middle-aged, dark hair, beard, black vest, short-sleeved shirt. Seen in front of the King Sooper, shot out a window of a van, pursued a man towards Broadway.” The vest is later described as armored.

A witness tells police the suspect shot a man in a vehicle and shot at other people.

2:37 p.m.

Dispatch reports multiple calls from people inside the store, saying they have barricaded themselves inside. Some report they’ve seen people on the floor.

Time unknown

Sarah Moonshadow and her son Nicolas Edwards later tell the Boulder Daily Camera that they were inside the store and heard shots fired. They run out of the store and see a body in the parking lot.

A 37-second video, taken outside and inside the store shows what appear to be three bodies, two outside and one inside, not far from door. Shots inside the store are heard at 32 seconds into the video. It’s unknown when the video was taken but it’s posted at 3:18 p.m.

Gary Strand and his wife, Jaye Hendrix, later tell the Daily Camera they were outside the store when they heard shots just before 3 p.m. They see police cars speeding toward the store moments later.

2:39 p.m.

Police report they’ve been shot at twice.

2:42 p.m.

Police report gunman is firing on them. They believe the shooter is a single gunman, armed with a long gun.

2:49 p.m.

Boulder police tweet: “ALERT: Active Shooter at the King Soopers on Table Mesa. AVOID THE AREA. PIO is en-route.”

2:50 p.m.

Officer Eric Talley is reported to be first to arrive on the scene. Boulder police later report that officers arrived within minutes of 911 call, just before 3 p.m., and entered building “very quickly.” 

2:51 p.m.

An officer is reported down inside the building’s front door.

2:53 p.m.

BOULDER, CO - MARCH 22: SWAT teams descend from the roof on a fire ladder after a gunman opened fire at a King Sooper's grocery store on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people, including a police officer, were killed in the attack.   (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775637212 ORIG FILE ID: 1231881880

Police report they’re being shot at from inside the store.

3:19 p.m. (time posted)

Another video shows police vehicles outside the store. Police on bullhorn are heard: “The entire building is surrounded. You need to surrender. Come out with your hands up, unarmed. This is the Boulder police department.”

3 p.m. to 3:27 p.m.

Police exchange fire with gunman and prepare to enter building.

3:28 p.m.

The suspect has an injury to his leg. He strips down to his boxer shorts, surrenders and is taken into custody.

4:18 p.m.

Boulder police tweet: “Please avoid the area of Table Mesa & Broadway! This is still a very active scene. Do NOT broadcast on social media any tactical information you might see.”

March 22, 2021; Boulder, Colo. King Soopers employees are led away from an active shooter at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder Colo. on Monday, March 22. 2021. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ciaglo via Denver Gazette ORG XMIT: USATODAY-450302 (Via OlyDrop)

“We will continue to tweet updates as we have them. If you live nearby please stay inside for now.”

5:10 p.m.

Boulder police tweet: “Emergency notification just went out: Boulder police asking people near 17th and Grove to shelter in place while they respond to report of armed, dangerous individual. PD is investigating to determine if this is related to King Soopers shooting.”

6:41 p.m.

Boulder police tweet: “Shelter in place notice at 17th and Grove has been lifted. Police press conference near King Soopers scene will begin shortly.”

6:52 p.m.

Boulder police tweet: “We have multiple victims who lost their lives. One of the victims is a Boulder police officer. Asking media to honor families’ privacy.”

6:53 p.m.

Boulder police tweet: “No ongoing public threat. Person of interest in custody. He was injured and is being treated for his injury.”

6:57 p.m.

Boulder police tweet: “Only known injury was to person of interest. There were fatalities, however.”

6:59 p.m.

The Boulder district attorney says the investigation is underway with crime scene analysts inside the building processing evidence.

10 p.m.

Police obtain search warrants for Alissa’s residence, the scene of the shooting, and Alissa.

1:30 a.m., March 23

Last victim removed from scene.

2:02 a.m.

All victims are identified.

4 a.m.

All families of victims are notified.

List of victims

  • Denny Stong, 20
  • Neven Stanisic, 23
  • Rikki Olds, 25
  • Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
  • Suzanne Fountain, 59
  • Teri Leiker, 51
  • Officer Eric Talley, 51
  • Kevin Mahoney, 61
  • Lynn Murray, 62
  • Jody Waters, 65

SOURCE USA TODAY Network reporting and research; Fort Collins Coloradoan; Associated Press




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