Brother of Boulder Shooting Suspect Ahmad Alissa Believes He Is Mentally Ill

The brother of the suspect in the Boulder, Colorado, shooting told the Daily Beast Tuesday that Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa exhibited signs of paranoid mental illness for years leading up to Monday's mass murder in a supermarket, which left 10 people dead.

Alissa, a 21-year-old native of Arvada, Colorado, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder following Monday's mass shooting. His brother, 34-year-old Ali Aliwi Alissa, revealed to the Daily Beast that the suspect has a history of violence and alarming behavior. The older brother said that Alissa was "very anti-social" and paranoid about imaginary people chasing or following him during his high school years. The brother noted that Boulder Police searched his home throughout the night on Monday.

"When he was having lunch with my sister in a restaurant, he said, 'People are in the parking lot, they are looking for me.' She went out, and there was no one. We didn't know what was going on in his head," Alissa's brother said, relaying his belief that the suspect is mentally ill.

The brother noted that he went to a separate King Sooper's location in Boulder Monday, to search for a third sibling who had last said they were running an errand, but soon after couldn't be reached by phone. The brother said it turned out that the third sibling had already been taken into police custody for questioning.

"I went to King Sooper that is close to our house to see if they are there, and then I saw a police car," Alissa told the Daily Beast. "And then as I got closer to the police car, I saw my [other] brother was detained in the police car. That was 9:30 at night."

Boulder Police announced Tuesday morning that the suspect had sustained a leg wound during a gunfire exchange with responding officers before being taken into custody. He was transferred to a local hospital and placed in stable condition and is expected to be moved to Boulder County jail to await court proceedings.

A woman who identified herself as an older sister of the suspect told the Daily Beast she and the family were in disbelief to hear her "quiet brother" had been accused of the 10 murders. "We're shocked. He is nice, a quiet brother," the 30-year-old sister said.

The reporter described the Alissa family's two-story home as typical of many across that part of Colorado: "basketball hoops, bird feeders...with solar panels on the roof and a flagstaff path leading to the backyard."

Newsweek reached out to Boulder Police Tuesday afternoon for any additional remarks or details about the suspect, but did not hear back in time for publication.

Colorado mass shooting
A SWAT team member runs toward a King Soopers grocery store where a gunman opened fire on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. Chet Strange/Getty Images