BOULDER, Colorado, U.S. (AP) – The suspect in the Colorado supermarket shootings bought a firearm prior to the incident at a local gun store after passing a background check, the owner of the store.
John Mark Eagleton, owner of the Eagles Nest Armory in Arvada, a Denver suburb, said in a statement that his store was cooperating with authorities investigating Monday’s shooting in which 10 people were killed, including a police officer.
Eagleton said the shooting suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, approved a background check by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation before purchasing the firearm.
Authorities had previously said that 21-year-old Alissa purchased the AR-15 type weapon used in the mass shooting on March 16, six days before the deadly incidents. Alissa is from Arvada.
“We are absolutely shocked at what happened and our hearts ache for the victims and the families they left behind. Ensuring that every sale that occurs in our store is legal has always been, and will be, one of the priorities for our company, ”Eagleton said in a statement.
“Regarding the firearm in question, a background check on the buyer was conducted as required by Colorado law and approval of the sale was provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. We have cooperated with the police, and will continue to do so as their investigation continues, ”the statement added.
Alissa was convicted in 2018 of a misdemeanor after throwing a student to the ground, climbing on him and hitting him multiple times on the head, according to police documents. He was sentenced to probation and community service.
Colorado has a universal background check law that covers virtually all firearm sales, but misdemeanor convictions do not typically prevent people from purchasing firearms. If Alissa had been convicted of a felony, she would be prohibited under federal law from buying guns.