Colorado shooting suspect makes 2nd court appearance

Posted at 12:44 PM, May 25, 2021 and last updated 4:56 PM, July 5, 2023

By COLLEEN SLEVIN Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — A 22-year old man accused of fatally shooting 10 people in March at a Colorado supermarket made his second court appearance Tuesday and a judge scheduled a September hearing to review evidence in the case.

The hearing for suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa lasted about two minutes and did not include any substantive discussion about the case, including his defense team’s claim the Alissa suffers from an unspecified mental illness.

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa appears in a Boulder County District courtroom in Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Colorado supermarket in March, is set to appear in court Tuesday for a hearing to discuss what will happen next in the case. (Matthew Jonas/Daily Camera via AP, Pool)

At Alissa’s first hearing the week of the March 22 attack in Boulder, defense attorney Kathryn Herold said the defense legal team needed two or three months to evaluate his “mental illness” and evidence collected by investigators before proceeding. She did not provide more specific details about his mental health at that time.

A law enforcement official briefed on the shooting previously said that the suspect’s family told investigators they believed Alissa was suffering from some type of mental illness, including delusions. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The courtroom was closed to the public because of coronavirus public health safety restrictions, with video of the proceedings aired online. Photos from the lone media photographer allowed inside showed Alissa wearing an orange-and-white jail uniform and a white mask. He was sitting by himself in the jury box, a few feet from his attorneys.

Alissa is accused of killing nine shoppers and workers inside and outside the store and one of the first three police officers who entered the store.

Alissa has also been charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly firing at 26 other people, including 11 law enforcement officers. He is also accused of unlawfully possessing 10 high-capacity ammunition magazines, devices banned in Colorado after previous mass shootings.

Investigators have not released a possible motive for the attack. District Attorney Michael Dougherty has said there was no indication that Alissa, who was from the nearby suburb of Arvada, had ever visited the supermarket before.