Colorado Mass Shooting Case Proceeds as Suspect Deemed Competent for Trial

Colorado Mass Shooting Case Proceeds as Suspect Deemed Competent for Trial

Prosecutors are set to present their case against Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the man accused in the 2021 mass shooting at a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket, as he has been deemed competent to stand trial. The hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, will determine if there is sufficient evidence for Alissa to face trial for the March 22, 2021, incident at King Soopers store in Boulder, located approximately 30 miles from Denver.

Alissa, 24, diagnosed with schizophrenia, is charged with murder and attempted murder counts. He has yet to enter a plea. Forensic psychologist Loandra Torres testified previously that Alissa purchased firearms for a mass shooting, suggesting a possible intention for “suicide by cop.”

During the September hearing, Torres also indicated that Alissa was aware his fingerprints were found on the weapons, which could be crucial evidence against him. He was apprehended in the store following a gunshot wound inflicted by a police officer.

The legal process has been delayed due to Alissa’s mental health. However, recent assessments and forced medication have significantly improved his condition, leading to Judge Ingrid Bakke’s ruling last month that Alissa is competent for prosecution, despite defense objections.

Family members of the victims, such as Robert Olds, whose niece Rikki Olds was among the 10 victims, are closely following the proceedings. The other victims included Officer Eric Talley, Denny Stong, Neven Stanisic, Tralona Bartkowiak, Teri Leiker, Suzanne Fountain, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray, and Jody Waters.

Authorities confirmed that Alissa legally purchased the AR-556 pistol used in the attack. Some victim families are suing the manufacturer, Sturm, Ruger & Co., for allegedly promoting the weapon recklessly. The company has denied these allegations, citing its lawful marketing practices.

Alissa’s mental competency took time to establish due to the severity of his illness. Throughout 2021 and into 2022, evaluations found him incompetent for trial, mainly due to communication issues and reluctance to discuss the charges, as Torres testified.

Mental competency, which assesses a defendant’s ability to understand court proceedings and assist in their defense, differs from an insanity plea, which relates to the mental state during the crime’s commission.

Alissa’s background includes Syrian family roots, U.S. citizenship, and living in a Denver suburb. The only prior known issue was a 2018 high school incident where he was convicted of assaulting a classmate.

The March 2021 supermarket shooting concluded when Alissa was injured by an officer.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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