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Suspect in Boulder Shootings Passed Background Check

Owner says his shop then sold the defendant a weapon last week
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2021 5:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – The suspect in the Boulder mass shooting cleared the required background check before buying a gun last week at a Colorado shop, the store's owner said. The state Bureau of Investigation then approved the sale, the Denver Post reports. "We are absolutely shocked by what happened, and our hearts are broken for the victims and families that are left behind," said John "Mark" Eagleton, who owns the Eagles Nest Armory in Arvada. Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder in the slayings on Monday. Boulder's police chief said Friday that Alissa used a Ruger AR-556 in the shootings. He also had a 9 mm handgun with him, Maris Herold said. She said the AR-556 was bought legally; Eagleton didn't say in his statement what type of weapon his shop sold Alissa.

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The arrest affidavit says he bought an AR-556 six days before the attack at the King Soopers grocery store. The defendant pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in 2018, but the federal system wouldn't have had any information causing it to flag his background check, per CNN. Officials told reporters Friday they still lack answers in the case. "Why that King Soopers? Why Boulder? Why Monday?" Herold said. The district attorney said the motive for the shootings remains unknown. "I think the victims' families and the community are desperate to know the motive," Michael Dougherty said. "We want to know the motive. And that's going to be the focus of our efforts going forward." (Read more Boulder shooting stories.)

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