The accused gunman in Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder was “laughing” as he murdered 10 people and terrorised shoppers inside a King Soopers grocery store, police and a witness said.
“We could hear a man chuckling,” shopper Angelina Romero-Chavez recalled hearing as she hid from the gunman while shots rang out around her.
“Gunshots were close. We believe it was him chuckling,” the 23-year-old told the Denver Post.
Police also radioed: “This guy is laughing at us,” according to records reviewed by the Denver Post.
The disturbing detail was revealed Saturday, five days after police say Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa carried out the massacre using an AR-556 rifle — and a day after officials said they have not determined a motive for the killings.
Romero-Chavez survived the shooting by barricading herself, along with her boyfriend Amos Plentywolf, a worker and another couple inside of a storage closet, where they blocked the door with boxes and supplies.
Plentywolf’s mother was waiting for the couple in the parking lot, where she tried desperately to reach her son.
“He hung up on me,” Semele Plentywolf told the Denver Post.
“I kept trying to call him and text him. There was no answer. I was freaking out.”
Romero-Chavez also sent her mother a harrowing text.
“There has been a shooting at King Soopers. Me and Amos are in a storage closet.
“Those are the last words I sent,” she said.
Alissa was taken into custody after firing a final fatal bullet at Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley. He is being held without bond and faces 10 counts of first-degree murder.
Officer Talley had served in the Boulder Police Department since 2010 and was one of the first officers to respond to the shooting at the King Soopers grocery store at South Boulder, arriving about 2.50pm local time on Monday.
“And I have to tell you, the heroic action of this officer, when he responded to the scene,” an emotional Police Chief Maris Herold said at a press briefing.
“Officer Talley responded to the scene, was the first on the scene, and he was fatally shot.”
SWAT teams gathered at the scene described by witnesses as “chaos”. Over loudspeaker, police told the shooter inside “you need to surrender”.
The bloodied man emerged wearing just his underwear. A witness told Fox News the shooter had a “short assault rifle” and started shooting in the car park.
“We were standing in our restaurant. We knew it was really serious because police were running with machine guns,” he said.
“It’s shocking. This is our neighbourhood centre. You didn’t think it would happen in Boulder, Colorado.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was republished with permission