Boulder shooting: Officer acted lawfully when he shot King Soopers suspect, DA rules

The Boulder police officer who shot the King Soopers mass-shooting suspect in the leg during the attack was cleared of any wrongdoing Thursday by Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty.

Officer Richard Steidell was among the second group of officers to go into the Boulder grocery store during the mass shooting on March 22, entering through the front doors at about 2:38 p.m., about eight minutes after the attack started, according to Dougherty’s decision letter.

Steidell and the officers with him were fired upon within about 20 seconds of entering the store, according to the letter, and the rounds “passed directly over the heads” of Stiedell and two other officers. One officer was struck by shattering glass.

Steidell dove to the ground and fired at shooting suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, who police say was holding a long gun.

Alissa moved out of the officer’s line of sight, and then back into it about 90 seconds later, raising the long gun and pointing it down an aisle at the officers, according to the letter. Steidell fired again, then retreated out of the store. The officer fired a total of eight times, striking Alissa once in the leg.

Alissa was taken into custody about an hour after the attack began. He did not shoot his gun again after being shot in the leg, Dougherty said in the decision letter.

“Officer Steidell’s shots were the last ones fired by anyone inside King Soopers on March 22,” Dougherty wrote.

Steidell was placed on leave pending the district attorney’s investigation. Dougherty found that the officer was justified in using deadly force.

“There is absolutely no question that Officer Steidell was justified in firing his weapon at Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa,” he wrote.

Ten people were killed in the attack, including a Boulder police officer.

Those killed in the attack were: Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Teri Leiker, 51; Officer Eric Talley, 51; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.

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