Authorities Confirm Colorado Shooting Suspect Passed Background Check Before Purchasing Firearm


The suspect jailed on 10 counts of murder in this week's mass shooting in Colorado has been moved to another detention center because of "safety concerns and threats", and he faces additional attempted-murder charges, officials said on Friday.

At a news briefing, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold told reporters her office along with 25 other law enforcement agencies were working around the clock to determine why the 21-year-old suspect chose Boulder, some 30 miles from his home in Arvada, Colorado, and why this grocery store.

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, has been jailed since he was arrested at the King Soopers supermarket and treated for a leg wound. It was the second mass shooting in less than a week in the United States, after a gunman fatally shot eight people at three Atlanta-area day spas on March 16.

Boulder police made the comments on Twitter, responding to what it said were "comments from some in our community who questioned the response time of our officers".

At a court appearance Thursday, prosecutors said additional charges are expected in the next few weeks.

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Alissa on Friday remained in custody of the Boulder County Sheriff's, but is now being held at a jail outside the county on no bond.

Alissa purchased the Ruger AR-556 pistol, a weapon that resembles a semi-automatic rifle, after passing a background check.

Also on Friday, law enforcement officials said that they chose to move Alissa from one correctional facility to a new one after he received death threats to his safety.

The owner of Eagles Nest Armory, where the firearm was purchased, said he was shocked by the shooting, telling Reuters: "Ensuring every sale that occurs at our shop is lawful has always been and will always remain the highest priority for our business". Another firearm was recovered, but authorities do not believe it was used in the shooting.

Mr Alissa appeared in court for the first time on Thursday, where his attorneys said they needed time to investigate the extent mental illness played a role. A bill meant to impose stricter background checks and ban some types of semi-automatic rifles has stalled amid Republican opposition. Seven other states and the District of Columbia have banned certain types of semi-automatic rifles.