BOULDER, Colo.— Democrats said Tuesday that they are pushing toward a vote on expanded gun control measures as the nation reels from its second mass shooting in a week. President Joe Biden said “we have to act,” but prospects for any major changes were dim, for now, in the closely divided Congress.
Monday’s horrific shooting left 10 dead in a King Sooper grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. The 21-year-old gunman, identified by police Tuesday as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Arvada, Colorado, sustained an injury to his leg and was taken into custody shortly before 3:30 p.m., according to police.
Slain police officer
called a hero
The victims ranged in age from 20 to 65 and included Police Officer Eric Talley, 51, a father of seven children.
Police Chief Maris Herold commended “the heroic actions” of Talley when he responded to the scene. Talley had been on the force since 2010.
A distraught Homer Talley said his son “took his job as a police officer very seriously. He had seven children. The youngest is 7 years old. He loved his kids and his family more than anything.”
Talley had “served in numerous roles supporting the Boulder Police Department,” Herold said, holding back tears.
Talley’s colleague, Officer Mark Bliley, heads the police union and recalled his close friend’s passion about policing, and his particular gift for connecting with people.
“He was just a highly respected, well-loved person and officer,” Bliley told The Denver Post. “Just a solid person … I don’t know of anyone who didn’t like Eric.”
A procession of emergency vehicles accompanied the ambulance carrying Talley’s body from King Soopers to a funeral home on Monday evening, reported KMGH-TV. Officers and first responders lined the road, saluting their fallen colleague.
Homer Talley told ABC News that his son joined the police force at age 40 and recently had been training as a drone operator so he could work away from the front lines.
“He didn’t want to put his family through something like this, and he believed in Jesus Christ,” the bereaved father said.
A motive for the shooting has not been determined, officials said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed Tuesday morning to bring to the Senate floor legislation passed by the House that would require background checks for most gun sales and transfers. He said the Senate “must confront a devastating truth” after a lack of congressional action on the issue for almost three decades.
“This Senate will be different,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday. “The Senate is going to debate and address the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”
The other nine who died in Boulder were identified as Denny Strong, 20, Neven Stanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, and Jody Waters, 65.
The shooting took place less than a week after a gunman opened fire on three massage parlors in Atlanta, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent.