A county judge in Boulder, Colorado, on Thursday ordered the 21-year-old man accused of killing 10 people in a supermarket shooting to be held without bail while he undergoes a mental health assessment requested by his lawyers.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa faces 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder stemming from Monday's shooting rampage at King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, some 28 miles northwest of Denver.
Appearing at a brief hearing in county court in Boulder, Alissa, wore a mask. He didn’t speak other than to say “yes” to a question from Judge Thomas Mulvahil, affirming that he understood his rights under the law and understood that he would be held without bail.
While most Colorado court proceedings have been conducted with suspects appearing by video during the pandemic, Mulvahill ordered Alissa to appear in person, but did not allow the public or the media inside.
Defense lawyers for Alissa requested that he undergo a full mental health assessment, which would delay his preliminary court hearing by at least a couple of months. Alissa waived his right to a preliminary hearing within 35 days to allow time for that assessment.
"We cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa's mental illness," Kathryn Herold, a defense attorney for Alissa, told the judge.
On Monday afternoon, the suspect arrived at the King Soopers grocery store carrying a handgun and wearing a tactical vest, according to an affidavit. Six days earlier, Alissa purchased a Ruger AR-556 pistol, the affidavit said.
The bloodshed at King Soopers marked the nation's second mass shooting in less than a week. A gunman shot eight people dead at three Atlanta-area day spas on March 16.
The two attacks have reignited a national debate over gun rights and prompted President Joe Biden to call for new legislation from Congress, where a bill intended to impose stricter background checks and ban certain types of semi-automatic rifles has stalled.
This report contains material from Reuters and The Associated Press.
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