Boulder police formally placed mass supermarket shooting suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa in custody using the handcuffs of officer Eric Talley, who was killed in the attack.
Talley was the first officer to respond to reports of shots fired at the King Soopers grocery store on Monday and one of 10 people fatally shot there.
Alissa was pointedly told the cuffs belonged to Talley, according to a statement from the Boulder Police Department.
The 21-year-old suspect from Arvada, Colorado, was formally taken into custody on Tuesday at a local hospital where he was treated after being shot in the leg at the scene of the crime. Police said Alissa was armed with what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun during the shooting, and was wearing an armored vest.
“It was our distinct honor to use Officer Talley’s handcuffs to formally process him into the jail,” said a Boulder Police Department statement. “Though this was a small gesture, we hope it is the start of the healing process that so many of us need at this time.”
A department tweet included a photo of Talley’s handcuffs.
Following the shooting, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold called Talley “heroic.” He “cared about this community,” Herold added. “He was willing to die to protect others.”
Talley, a father of seven, worked for the department for 11 years, and was once featured in a local news story for rescuing a mother duck and her 11 ducklings from a drainage ditch.
Alissa has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.
His first court appearance was Thursday. His public defender Kathryn Herold raised the possibility of an unspecified mental illness. “We cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa’s mental illness,” Herold said at the hearing, The Associated Press reported.
Alissa appeared in court in a wheelchair and only spoke once, saying “yes” when the judge asked if he understood his rights. He did not enter a plea and will remain in jail.
People on Twitter responded sympathetically to the Boulder police tweet using the hashtag “Boulder Strong.” One commenter was from El Paso, where 22 people were killed at a Walmart by a mass shooter in 2019.