John Mark Eagleton, owner of Eagles Nest Armory in Arvada, Colorado, issued a statement to local news outlet 9News on Friday to declare that Boulder shooting suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, did pass a background check prior to purchasing a firearm from his gun shop on March 16 – just six days before the deadly incident.
“We are absolutely shocked by what happened and our hearts are broken for the victims and families that are left behind. Ensuring every sale that occurs at our shop is lawful, has always been and will always remain the highest priority for our business,” Eagleton wrote.
The Boulder Police Department has confirmed that a total of 10 individuals, including the first officer to respond to the call at King Soopers, were killed on March 22.
“Regarding the firearm in question, a background check of the purchaser was conducted as required by Colorado law and approval for the sale was provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation,” he added.
Eagleton also expressed that his business has, and will continue to “fully cooperate with law enforcement.”
Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold held a live press conference on Friday, detailing that 167 individuals from at least 26 local, state and federal agencies have been mobilized in recent days to investigate the incident.
“Like the rest of the community, we too want to know why — why that King Soopers, why Boulder, why Monday,” she remarked. “Unfortunately, at this time, we still don’t have those answers.”
Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold: “Like the community, we too want to know why? Why that King Soopers? Why Boulder? Why Monday? Unfortunately at this time we still don’t have those answers.” pic.twitter.com/atFdrhcQ9d
— The Recount (@therecount) March 26, 2021
The police chief further confirmed the Ruger AR-556 – an AR-15 style, semi-automatic pistol – found at the scene was legally purchased by the gunman. Another firearm was recovered, but authorities do not believe it was used in the shooting.
Authorities remain unaware of how many shots were exchanged between police and the suspect.
“Their actions saved other civilians from being killed,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said during the Friday news conference, speaking of the responding officers.
“They charged into the store and immediately faced a very significant amount of gunfire from the shooter, who at first they were unable to locate.”
The 21-year-old suspect has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment, without the option of parole.