tv Gov. Polis Holds News Conference on Mass Shooting in Boulder Colorado CSPAN March 23, 2021 10:27pm-11:11pm EDT
be clear. those poor folks who die left behind families. it leaves a big hole in their hearts. and -- and we can save lives. increasing the background checks that are supposed to occur and eliminating assault weapons and the size of magazines. i don't know all the details yet on that, but i will be talking to you more later today or in the next couple of days about what else we know. may god bless you all, and those families who are morning today because of gun violence in colorado and georgia and all across the country. we have to act so there is not more of you, there is fewer of you as time goes on. thank you so much. [reporters talking]
>> colorado governor jared polis held a news conference with law enforcement and federal and state officials to provide an update on the deadly mass shooting. they spoke to reporters for about 40 minutes. >> [inaudible] >> is everyone ready to go? we are going to start with boulder police chief maris herold. >> thank you for everybody being here today. dozens of agencies continue to investigate yesterday's mass shooting at the king soopers on table mesa drive. the boulder county coroner's office worked overnight to identify all the victims and notify the next of kin, which i am extremely grateful for.
the last victim was removed from the scene at 1:30 a.m. today. by 2:00 a.m., all the victims had been identified. by 3:59 a.m., the families of the victims had been notified. i am going to read the names of the deceased. denny stong, 20 years old. nevin students keep, 23. ricky hobbs, 25. tralona barkowaiak, 49. suzanne fountain, 59. teri leiker, 51. officer eric talley, kevin mahoney, 61. lynn murray, 62. jody waters, 65. our hearts go out to the victims killed during the senseless act of violence. we are committed with state, local and federal authorities for a thorough investigation and we will bring justice to each of
these families. regarding the suspect, at approximately 2:40 p.m. on monday, march 22, officers were dispatched to king soopers. -- king soopers on table mesa drive. officers engaged the suspect. there was an exchange of gunfire, and the suspect was shot. no other officers were injured. the suspect was taken into custody at 3:28 p.m. he was transported to the hospital for treatment and now is in stable condition. the suspect has been identified as ahmad alissa. he has been charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree and will shortly be transported to the boulder county jail. the victims information will be forthcoming. i appreciate you being here. i want to say to the community i am so sorry this incident happened. we are going to do everything in
our power to make sure this suspect has a thorough trial. and we will do a thorough investigation. with this, i will turn it over to governor polis. governor polis: thank you, chief, for your extraordinary work in the last day and a half. there will be a lot more ahead. i am standing here not just as governor but as someone who has called this community my home for most of my life and is -- has shopped at king soopers many times. our hearts ache as coloradans and americans for the senseless tragedy and loss of life as we hear those names. everybody in boulder county -- it is a small community. we are all looking over the list, do we know anybody? i'm sure we know people that know people.
people of all ages. people who started their day with a cup of coffee and reading the morning paper. perhaps getting the kids ready and putting on a coat about. -- to go out. maybe they were making last-minute spring break plans. none of them expected this would be their last day here on the planet. a simple run for milk and eggs. getting ready to shop going in , the regular way we all live our lives. something we can all identify with. it led to complete tragedy today. our hearts ache for those who lost their lives, for their families and the survivors of -- left behind. for the survivors able to get out to have scars they cannot be seen that are every bit as painful. i want to thank the boulder police department, the first responders.
so many police from agencies across the state came to the call in a time of need. not only did we lose 10 lives but this is horror and terror for all of us. the simple act of shopping in a grocery store. in the last 12 hours, the families of the victims have been notified of their loss. that is why these names were not released yesterday. the families have been notified. everybody quietly hoping it was not your friend or your coworker or your family member. residents of south boulder had people checking in with them. are you ok? checking on social media, are you ok? this loss is especially painful for friends and family members of those left behind. as governor i offer my condolences to all of those who suffered loss.
this is a loss for all of us. we mourn those who fell as a state and we mourn them as a nation. this has been a painful year. we sit here once again surrounded by incomprehensible, senseless loss. this is a pain we need to sit with. we can't let ourselves become numb to the pain. we simply cannot let this be accepted as anything close to a normal occurrence. there is a full investigation underway. the eyes of the nation are on boulder, the eyes of the nation are on colorado. every level of law enforcement, federal, state, and local is working together to make sure that we could bring justice in this case. that is exactly what eric talley was doing as he lost his life in the line of duty.
he was heroically trying to save others. the state of colorado has 35 people from the colorado bureau of investigations and state troopers assisting the investigation since yesterday. we have offered to help with victim services as well. of course, boulder community has the full support of state and federal law enforcement as we go about this difficult task ahead. the unfairness of it all, this will be difficult for people to process. the flags had barely been back to raised to full mast after the tragic shooting in atlanta. now a tragedy here, close to home. at a grocery store that could've been at any of our neighboring grocery stores. this last weekend in colorado, many of us had a chance to enjoy the beautiful spring outdoor
weather, spending time in the great outdoors, a sense of renewal, sense of hope ahead we were on the precipice of normalcy. i hope the victims today got some simple pleasure on that beautiful spring day before tragedy hit. i wish i could stand here and promise that the pain will heal quickly. it won't. but for the family and friends, and our community the loss , endures. at times like this it is hard to see the light that shines through the darkness. we all need space to mourn. space to be angry. that is a legitimate feeling. a space to help those that are left behind. a space to ask the simple question, why. space to support those who made it out of the grocery store with their lives, with lifelong scars we cannot see.
a space to celebrate the 10 lives that were lost yesterday. we need the fortitude to carry on. we will hold the people they were responsible to the law for his actions. we will always remember the victims of the shooting. i want to turn it over to the congressman from the area, congressman joe neguse. rep. neguse: thank you governor polis for your leadership. i want to thank law enforcement and the boulder county area for their incredible leadership. to district attorney michael doherty, the chief of police, the brave and heroic police officers.
whose actions yesterday truly save lives. to the federal partners, the fbi the interim u.s. attorney, for their efforts and ordination. i think you will hear from law enforcement. it has been strong. it is important as we deal with this terrible mass shooting here in our community. it has been a devastating 24 hours for boulder and our state. like the governor, this is my community. i've lived in boulder county for many years. my wife was born in boulder. we went to school in boulder. this is our community. we are absolutely heartbroken for the pain and anguish that so many in our community in our state are feeling today. 10 lives lost.
10 friends, neighbors, sisters, brothers, parents, colleagues, community members. families that are grieving today , woke up today without their loved ones, including an officer that bravely died in the line of community. officer talley. his sacrifice will never be forgotten. like many of you, my heart is heavy. it is in grief and in anguish. the loss-of-life is truly heartbreaking and unimaginable. our hearts, thoughts, prayers are with the families of those victims. with the survivors of yesterday's terrible mass shooting. the front grocery store employees and with every member of our community here in boulder.
as the governor said yesterday, coloradans went to their local king's sooper to buy groceries, some to get a covid vaccine. in a mere instant, our community was upturned by a senseless act of violence. this year, as coloradans, we faced a lot of challenges. this year in separation due to covid, loneliness, grocery stores have been one of our consistent gathering places. one of the few routine activities that we continue to engage in and as americans. it is hard to describe what it means for this safe place for a horrible tragedy like this to unfold. there's a lot of unfolding of
yesterday's events. let me simply say this. this cannot be our new normal. we should be able to feel safe in our grocery stores. we should feel safe in our schools, our movie theaters, and our communities. we need to see a change. we have lost far too many lives. as i said, i have lived in boulder county for many years. one thing i'm sure of is this, our community is strong, kind, compassionate, it is resilient. we will get through this together. as we comfort each other and as we begin the process of healing in the coming days, weeks, and tough months ahead. i would now like to turn it over to the mayor of boulder, sam weaver.
mayor weaver: good morning, today our city is grieving the senseless loss of 10 lives in our community. the people who were killed yesterday were individuals going about their daily business when a man with a gun monstrously struck them down. they had family and friends, loves, passions, dreams of tomorrow that will no longer come for them. we feel these losses in our bones. some of us more deeply than others. but all of us are agonized by this tragedy. there will be time to pursue justice, repair damage, seek answers, pursue remedies. but today we remember, we appreciate, we honor the lives of those who were killed. one of those who we remember is boulder police officer eric
talley, who was gunned down as he valiantly protected those who were in mortal danger. officer talley, a truly heroic public servant joins the ranks of six other boulder police officers who have laid down their lives for the people of our city. we could never think officer talley or his family enough for their sacrifice. we will not forget it. many are alive today because of the actions of eric talley and other first responders with the bravery and blessing to us all. boulder is a city full of giving and resilient people. we will help each other heal and recover from this tragedy. boulder is an active and energetic community. we will put our energy to use repairing the specific fabric
which has been torn. boulder is a visionary community that we will work to build a future in which tragedies like this live in a distant and unimaginable past. but today we will grieve and we will console one another. we will remember the 10 precious souls we lost yesterday. thank you. i will turn it over to boulder d.a. michael dougherty. >> i am the district attorney for boulder county. yesterday, boulder suffered a tragic and horrific attack. the victims who were food shopping were engaged in an everyday act. something we all do. it turned out to be their last day on earth. i cannot imagine the pain and agony their loved ones and families are feeling right now.
and to them, i want to say this. i promise you that all of us will work tirelessly to help you through the process. also to make sure the killer is held absolutely and fully accountable for what he did. officer eric talley died heroically. he was one of the outstanding members of boulder county law enforcement. the patrol car behind us is here in his honor today. he died charging into the line of fire to say people who were's simply trying to live their lives and go food shopping. the man who gunned them down will be held fully responsible. there were 10 people killed yesterday. the chief read off the names of all 10. i would ask you to join me as a
community, as a country in honoring and respecting all 10 of the victims. the killer, his name will live in infamy. today, let us remember the victims. let us work tirelessly for them to make sure the right thing happens in this case. i can promise you that is our solemn commitment to the victims, families, and to this community. why did this happen? we don't have the answer to that yet. the investigation is in the early stages. the investigators are working hard to determine that. that information will come. what i can tell you today is that boulder and colorado is getting the very best of the response of what happened. we've had agencies from all around the metro area. district attorney's and prosecutors from all around the state of colorado. law enforcement from every area around boulder, denver
responding to help and give their very all to this vicious attack and to the investigation that will follow. we are in the early stages of the investigation. there is much to learn. but i want to stress the incredible cooperation between federal, state, and local partners. it's exactly what we should do in response to this kind of horrific act. having been at the aurora movie theater shooting in the hours after that attack, i could tell you part of what made that response so incredibly important was that we had federal, state, and local partners responding together, working as a team giving every bit of effort, energy, and commitment. to ensuring justice for all the victims. that is the kind of response we see in boulder county, here today. just as back then federal, state, and local partners making sure the right things happen and that justice is done for each and every one of the 10 victims.
the arrest affidavit and arrest warrant were signed at approximately 3:00 a.m. this morning. the offender's name has already been provided. he is being held at a hospital currently. i anticipate he will be released from the hospital shortly and then be transported to the boulder county jail. once he is booked we will follow our normal protocol in the affidavit and warrant has been cleared by my office has been cleared to be released to the community and media. you could expect that to be available for release after he is booked into the jail. again, that is later today after his medical treatment is completed. i do want to stress that the investigation is really in its early stages. we will work incredibly hard to see it through its completion. likely more than a year from now. between now and that day when justice is done for all 10 of these victims.
i promise you we will work together. federal, state, and local levels to make sure we do justice for these victims. nothing could fill the void for the families and their loved ones. i can promise you we will hold him accountable. they you for being here. i will turn it over to u.s. attorney matt kursh. i appreciate him at his team being here last night and today. >> good morning, everyone. i am the u.s. attorney for the district of colorado. you have already heard from most of the speakers this morning about how this investigation is proceeding. with full cooperation between federal, state, and local authorities. i am here to affirm for you that this is happening.
the federal law enforcement community, the federal bureau of investigation, the atf, and any other resources necessary in order to make sure this investigation is full and complete will be brought to this investigation. i want to close by saying two more things. first of all, on behalf of the federal law enforcement community i want to join in adding the sincere condolences and sympathies to the victims, the victims family, their friends, and the community at large. we know the community and all of those people are grieving. we understand the role is to seek justice for this tragic event. my pledge to you is it is exactly what the federal law enforcement community is going to do.
i will turn it over to special agent michael schneider. thank you. >> good morning. my name is michael schneider, i am the special agent in charge for the fbi. first and foremost, i want to offer my sincere condolences on behalf of the fbi to the boulder police department and the families of the victims of this senseless act of violence. while we mourn the devastating loss, our objective is to conduct a thorough investigation. the fbi is involved because of the resources bear for support. at this time, we are supporting evidence collection. we are supporting processing the crime scene. we are conducting interviews, as we exploit all of the evidence that was selected. -- collected. as part of the process we seek the public's health. any information that could be provided we asked be provided to
the fbi. we have two means of providing that information. the first is digital media could be provided to fbi.gov/boulder shooting. you can also call the tip line, 1-800 call the fbi. again, no information is too small. we encourage the public to share any information they may have. our objective is to conduct a thorough investigation that includes identifying the subject's motives. our effort is ongoing. it has been less than 24 hours. it would be premature for us to draw any conclusions at this point. the community is safe. we will share updates. we are grateful to the tremendous partnerships. we are working very closely with the boulder police department, sheriff's office, colorado
bureau of investigation, u.s. attorney's office in the district attorney's office. we can assure the public we will follow every lead as we conduct our investigation and bring justice to the victims. >> we will now take a few questions. reporter: the subject in custody, is that the man you see in the video shot from the helicopter being escorted out by two officers? is that the subject we are speaking of? >> we will be releasing a photo of the suspect. reporter: could you tell us anything at all about the subject's injuries? >> he suffered a leg wound, through and through in his leg. the middle section of his leg. reporter: was that from one of your officers? >> we are not sure. reporter: [indiscernible]
have they provided a motive? >> no motive at this time. nothing. i think it is in the press release. at this time investigators have spoken with him and i would let michael dougherty who is running that section of the investigation comment on it. >> we are in the early stages of the investigation. the arrest affidavit and warrant will be released later today. we are doing that to provide as much information as we can, as soon as we can. in terms of statements we may -- he may have made to investigators, i want to stress first, he is innocent unless that is proven guilty. more importantly to your question, we are collecting those statements now. i don't have a list of the statements he has made up until this point.
the investigation is in the early stages. reporter: could you tell us more about it? >> his name in the community that he lives in is included in the press release. yes, it was arvada. i know this is an extensive investigation getting underway. beyond that, we are still in the early stages of the investigation. at this time we fully believe we are very confident the community is safe. that he was the only person involved. obviously it is early in the investigation. we will continue to run down every lead. i will briefly say, there was a name going around social media and the media yesterday. you'll recognize it is not the individual who has been charged. we don't believe there is any connection. to the extent it is reported on.
i think people were doing their best to get information out, but he did not appear to be connected to this at all. reporter: this question is for the chief. [indiscernible] could you describe what emotions you are going through right now? >> it's hard, it is challenging. i lived three blocks up the street. you're worried about your neighbors, your partners. you are worried about everything when you get that call. i feel numb. it is heartbreaking. it is heartbreaking to talk to
victims, their families, it is tragic. this officer had seven children. ages 5-18. i just had that officer's family in my office two weeks ago to give him an award. it is personal. i lived here. to have something like this happen so close to where you live and to know the fear, to know the officers sacrifice themselves, it is heartbreaking. reporter: could you tell us a little more about officer talley, what he was like? >> he is a very kind man. he didn't have to go into policing. he had a profession before this. but he felt a higher calling. he loved this community.
he is everything policing deserves and needs. he cared about this community. he cared about the boulder police department. he cared about his family. he was willing to die to protect others. that gets lost in translation. reporter: could you tell us anything about the other victims as well? have you been able to learn anything about them? were they shoppers or workers as well? >> i do not know all of the details at this time. i have spoken to some of their families. i can just tell you that they are heartbroken. this is the worst call you could ever receive as a family member.
preliminary information but at this time we do not believe it. >> can you share anything about the order of events when the , first police call came in and what happened after that? >> i am not. we started receiving calls for service at 2:30 p.m. and we received a barrage of calls for shots fired. we received one call with a man from some type of rifle. they came in back to back. reporter: could you tell us about the award the officer was given? >> he taught his family cpr. officer talley taught his children cpr, one of his sons swallowed a quarter, and because officer talley taught his children cpr, one of his sons was able to save a little boy's life.
the boulder police department gave the son an award for lifesaving. reporter: i can't imagine what you are going through. what do you tell your officers who are going out today? >> all my officers are doubled up. thanks to the state and all of the local authorities that are here they have offered to run calls of service for us. none of my officers wanted to do that so we partnered them up. they want to be out with the community. reporter: what do you tell them. you are talking is your capacity here is the chief. >> i tell them i'm sorry, we are going to get through this. don't lose your compassion. we will get through this. we will come out of this stronger.
reporter: could we talk more about his actions yesterday? >> i think we are about to wrap up questions. chief herold met with some of the victims families last night. other victim families were notified by other members of the boulder police and the coroner's office. those notifications were completed around 4:00 in the morning. you asked how officers are doing. someone asked about the mood amongst the investigators. i would describe it as very determined, very focused. there's a lot of work to be done. we have local, state, and federal law enforcement at different locations throughout the metro area working on this case right now. i would say this group is very focused on the work that will be done. we recognize the trauma that has been brought upon the victims families and also the community. that will drive us with everything we need to do to see this case through the right result.
reporter: do know what kind of weapon the suspect used? >> some of that will be in the arrest affidavit. that is coming out later today. some of those details need to be nailed down. i will hold on that. if you have additional questions after the affidavit comes out you could let me or deon know. that is still in the early stages. the crime scene is being processed thanks to the evidence recovery team. they are the best of the best. i into spate they will be there for the next couple of days. -- i anticipate they will be there the next couple of days. we will have updates about the crime scene, the investigation and the prosecution of the individual wholly responsible for the victims. i anticipate the suspect will be released from the hospital today. obviously that is based on what the doctors are saying. that could change. he will be transported to the boulder county jail.
the arrest warrant will be available to all of you. i really appreciate all of you being here today. >> we appreciate all the questions but this is all the time we have this morning. thank you everyone for coming. we will have updates and i will send out this press release to everyone. i could spell any names and i could print out more of these. i could just email all of them to you. that is all the questions we can take this morning. we hope to have another update later today. we will post on twitter as soon as we know. the suspect, ahmad al-aliwi alissa.
the liaisons will let you know if they are interested in speaking with any of you. please respect their privacy. reporter: [indiscernible] >> i am not sure. sadly, we have to let them know. thank you. i will email this out with all the information. >> a look here at the white house earlier today where the flag was lowered to half staff to honor the victims of monday's mass shooting at a grocery store in boulder, colorado. president biden signed a proclamation ordering flags to remain at half staff on all federal buildings until saturday. this latest order comes less than a week from when flags were initially lowered to remember those who died from another mass shooting in georgia. >> c-span's washington journal,
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