Boulder supermarket shooting: Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa held without bail; lawyer asks for mental health assessment

BOULDER, Colo. — The man accused of killing 10 people in a mass shooting Monday at a grocery store in Boulder appeared Thursday in court for the first time since the deadly attack.

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Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, faces 10 counts of first-degree murder in the deadly attack at the King Soopers grocery store. Police arrested him Monday following a shootout that left him with a leg injury. He was booked into jail Tuesday after receiving medical treatment.

Update 10:45 a.m. ET March 25: Alissa’s attorney, Kathryn Herold, asked the court to give the defense team three months to evaluate their client’s mental health.

“We cannot do anything until we can fully assess Mr. Alissa’s mental illness,” she said.

Alissa, who remains held without bail, did not speak during the brief court hearing.

A law enforcement official briefed on the shooting had previously said the suspect’s family told investigators they believed Alissa was suffering some type of mental illness, including delusions.

Relatives have described times when Alissa told them people were following or chasing him, which they said may have contributed to the violence, the official said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Original report: At his court hearing, scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m. local time, Alissa is expected to hear the potential charges against him and be advised of his rights, according to prosecutors. His next court date will also be scheduled, officials said.

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Law enforcement officials and former associates told The Associated Press that Alissa was prone to sudden rage and had been convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to probation for attacking a high school classmate. According to the arrest affidavit, he bought a Ruger AR-556 pistol — which resembles an AR-15 rifle with a slightly shorter stock — on March 16, six days before the attack.

Ten people, including the first police officer to respond to the shooting, died in Monday’s shooting. Authorities have identified them as: 20-year-old Denny Stong, 23-year-old Neven Stanisic, 25-year-old Rikki Olds, 49-year-old Tralona Bartkowiak, 59-year-old Suzanne Fountain, 51-year-old Teri Leiker, 51-year-old Boulder police Officer Eric Talley, 61-year-old Kevin Mahoney, 62-year-old Lynn Murray and 65-year-old Jody Waters.

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On Wednesday night, more than 500 people bundled in winter jackets and wool hats attended a candlelight vigil in downtown Boulder to mourn the victims and comfort one another. They observed a moment of silence; violins soothed the crowd; a woman sang “Ave Maria” as candle flames flickered in the crisp air. A star-shaped light usually turned on for the holidays glowed on a mountain overlooking the open square.

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Earlier Wednesday, hundreds of people paid their respects during a police procession for Talley as his body was taken to a funeral home in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.