Accused Colorado mass shooter Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa had a violent temper that would explode “like a demon” — and once threatened to kill everyone at a wrestling match, his former classmates have said.
“He was kind of scary to be around,” Dayton Marvel told The Denver Post of his former wrestling teammate at Arvada West High School, where the Syrian-born accused mass murderer graduated in 2018.
“His senior year, during the wrestle-offs to see who makes varsity, he actually lost his match and quit the team and yelled out in the wrestling room that he was, like, going to kill everybody,” Marvel told the paper.
“Nobody believed him. We were just all kind of freaked out by it, but nobody did anything about it,” he said.
“He was a pretty cool kid until something made him mad, and then whatever made him mad, he went over the edge — way too far,” the former teammate said.
Another teammate, Angel Hernandez, told the paper that he once watched Alissa get into a fight with someone who was “just teasing him.”
Alissa, “just lost it. He started punching him,” Hernandez told the paper.
Hernandez insisted the accused killer was mostly “a good guy” who was “always so joyful and so nice.”
“But you could tell there was a dark side in him. If he did get ticked off about something, within a split second, it was like if something takes over, like a demon. He’d just unleash all his anger,” he recalled.
Alissa frequently appeared to be paranoid, echoing his own fears and those expressed by his family, Hernandez said.
Marvel also said that Alissa “would talk about him being Muslim and how if anybody tried anything, he would file a hate crime and say they were making it up.”
Alissa was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2018 and sentenced to probation and community service for attacking a classmate the previous year, blaming racist abuse for the attack, court documents show.
Alissa, 21, now faces 10 counts of first-degree murder for the rampage he allegedly unleashed Monday afternoon in a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder. The 10 victims included officer Eric Talley, a 51-year-old father of seven who was one of the first cops to respond.