Tearful Boulder residents pay tribute to massacre victims with procession for hero cop and emotional candlelit vigil
TEARFUL Boulder residents paid tribute to massacre victims with a procession for the heroic slain cop and an emotional candlelight vigil.
Hundreds of people were pictured lining up along the street on Wednesday as Officer Eric Talley's body was transported from the coroner's office to a funeral home.
Talley, 51, was the first cop to arrive on the scene of the King Soopers supermarket mass shooting on Monday. He was killed while trying to help others to safety.
Nine others were also killed when suspected gunman, Ahmad Alissa, 21, opened fired at King Soopers just before 3pm.
Boulder police, paramedics and firefighters lined up along Wednesday's procession route to honor Talley, a father of seven and 11-year veteran of the force.
Residents also came out to pay their respects, carrying Blue Lives Matter and American flags as the emotional procession passed by.
A vigil was held Wednesday evening, and memorials of flowers, candles and messages of love appeared in the days after the shooting in front of the supermarket and the Boulder police headquarters.
Banners with messages like #Boulderstrong have been placed at the memorial, along with 10 crosses dedicated to each victim.
Police have not yet said what they believe Alissa's motive was for carrying out the deadly attack, though family have described him as a "loner" who was "strange."
His brother-in-law Usame Almusa, who is married to Alissa's sister Aicha, told The Sun that at family events "he would always sit away from everyone else, not saying anything to anyone."
"He was a loner, just sitting to the side, not with us," Almusa said. "It was strange. He lived with his family and lived in the basement at their home.
"He works with his family, his brothers, at their restaurant. There was never a girlfriend and not many friends.
"He has a reputation for being stupid, not smart. He was not like a proper Muslim, I don’t know what kind of Muslim he was. He did not go to the mosque I go to."
Alissa lived with his parents in the basement of their $800,000 seven-bed, six-bathroom home in Arvada, Colorado, and worked at his brother’s nearby restaurant, The Sultan Grill, which has been closed since the attack.
Alissa’s father, Moustafa, is said to be so distraught by Monday’s devastating killing spree he "has nearly died from the crying."
The family has reportedly said they have "no idea" why Alissa would attack the supermarket, and even believed he was a victim of the attack initially.
Almusa said that his wife went to be with her family on the afternoon of the shooting, thinking that her brother had been killed.
"After two hours she called me and said he had not died, he was the one who did the killing," he said.
“She was crying, she was upset, she just didn’t know what had happened."
The suspect, who has been charged with 10 counts of murder, had violent tendencies before.
A former classmate said he had a tempter "like a demon," and was found guilty of violently assaulting another student, who the suspect alleged had called him a "terrorist," according to a police affidavit.
Despite the violent history, Alissa was able to purchase the AR-15-style gun just six days before he allegedly carried out the attack in Boulder.
The suspect will make his first court appearance on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the community continues to mourn the 10 members tragically killed.
In addition to Officer Talley, nine others, ranging in age from 20 to 65, lost their lives.
Denny Strong, 20, Neven Stoanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, and Jody Waters, 65, were all senselessly killed on Monday.
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