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Gun shop owner says Boulder mass attack suspect obtained gun legally and passed background check

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Officials are still seeing a motive for the heinous attack

Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

A gun shop owner confirmed that the suspect in the mass attack at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, obtained his gun legally and had passed a background check.

CNN was able to identify the gun store from which the suspect bought the gun used in the attack based on information gained from a senior law enforcement source.

"We are absolutely shocked by what happened and our hearts are broken for the victims and families that are left behind," said John Mark Eagleton, the owner of Eagles Nest Armory in Arvada.

"Ensuring that every sale that occurs at our shop is lawful, has always been and always remain, the highest priority for our business. Regarding the firearm in question, a background check of the purchaser was conducted as required by Colorado law and approval of the sale was provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. We have and will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement as their investigation continues," Eagleton concluded.

The report said that Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa bought a Ruger AR-556 on March 16 just days before the attack that took 10 lives, including one police officer, and injured several others.

Although the suspect had a misdemeanor on his record, that would not have prevented him from purchasing a firearm legally.

KUSA-TV also reported that the gun store was located very close to a restaurant that was owned by the suspect's family.

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

Prosecutors say Alissa faces ten counts of murder and one of attempted murder, but that they will likely add new charges later. Alissa did not enter a plea at a court hearing on Thursday.

Officials are not concluding what the motive might have been for the suspect, who is a Syrian native. His family has suggested that he suffers from mental illness and that he had grown paranoid in recent years.

"We cannot begin to assess the nature and depth of Mr. Alissa's mental illness until we have the discovery from the government," said Kathryn Herold, an attorney for Alissa, at the Thursday hearing.

Here's a local news report about the gun sale:

King Soopers suspect passed background to purchase weapon www.youtube.com

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