Boulder 'shooter' Ahmad Alissa in wheelchair at court & is held without bail for 'killing 10' as mental illness probed
THE suspected Boulder shooter Ahmad Alissa appeared in a wheelchair in court and has been held without bail as his "mental illness" is probed after allegedly killing 10 at a grocery store.
Alissa, 21, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and one-count of attempted first-degree murder after rampaging through King Soopers with an AR-15-style rifle.
He appeared in person before District Judge Thomas Francis Mulvahill at 8.15am local time on Thursday morning.
His lawyer asked for the judge to delay the next hearing for two to three months.
The legal team insisted "we cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa’s mental illness."
"We cannot begin to asses the nature and depth of Mr. Alissa’s mental illness until we have the discovery from the government, one of his attorneys reportedly said.
Alissa's court appearance comes as:
- The suspect's family at first thought he was a victim in the shooting
- Ten people died in a gun massacre at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
- Witnesses said a man in tactical body armor shot victims one by one with a rifle during the rampage.
- A bearded suspect wearing only his underwear and covered in blood was led away in handcuffs.
- Police revealed the name of the alleged gunman, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, who has now been charged with murder.
- Boulder police officer Eric Talley, 51, was among those killed as he responded to reports of an active shooter.
- The names of the 10 victims killed in the massacre have been revealed.
- It was revealed Alissa was allegedly known by the FBI prior to the shooting.
- President Biden called for tighter gun checks as it was reported the alleged shooter bought the gun days before the massacre.
Judge Mulvahill granted the request and ordered recess just six minutes into the hearing. He also ruled that Alissa will be held without bail.
The prosecution said that they expect to file additional charges once the Boulder crime scene is processed next week.
Mulvahill did not specify how long hearings would be delayed for, but gave the defense two weeks to respond to a motion.
Alissa appeared in court in a wheelchair, wearing a face mask and a blue paper gown. He spoke only to confirm that he understood the charges.
The alleged shooter bought an assault rifle six days before opening fire inside a crowded Colorado supermarket, according to an arrest affidavit released on Tuesday.
Around 2.30pm on Tuesday, police were called Kings Soopers grocery store in Boulder with reports of an active shooter.
Officer Talley, 51, was one of the first to arrive on the scene – and was shot dead as he raced inside to tackle the gunman.
Witnesses described the gunman shooting victims one-by-one with a rifle in the graphic massacre.
Video showed police escorting a man – the alleged gunman – in handcuffs away from the scene, dressed in nothing but shorts and covered in blood.
Initial reports said that at least six were killed in the shooting, but the death toll was later revealed to be ten.
Denny Strong, 20, Neven Stoanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Officer Eric Talley, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, Jody Waters, 65 were the 10 victims.
Alissa's court appearance comes just hours after it was revealed that he once threatened to "kill everybody" after claiming he had been branded a "terrorist" by a classmate in high school, according to police documents.
Alissa – who one classmate claimed had a temper "like a demon" – was found guilty of assaulting the student after knocking him to the ground before climbing on top of him and punching him in the head multiple times, according to a police affidavit.
The affidavit states Alissa Ahman "did unlawfully, knowingly and recklessly cause bodily injury to" to his teammate.
Ahman "got up in [the] classroom, walked over to [the] victim and 'cold cocked' him in the head," the affidavit reads.
"When [the victim] fell to the floor, [Ahman] got on top of [the] victim and punched him in the head several more times," it continued, adding the victim "had bruising, swelling and cuts to head, as well as pain."
"No witnesses could see or hear any reason for [Ahman] to hit victim."
It then goes on to say Alyssa "stated that victim had made fun of him and called him racial names weeks earlier."
He got up from his desk at Arvada West High School, walked over to the victim and suddenly punched him without warning, the paperwork states.
The attack left the right side of the bleeding victim’s face “red and swollen,” and his eye partially closed, say court documents viewed by The Sun.
It states the teen who was attacked was so upset by what happened he was left “crying and throwing up”
The mass shooting suspect later complained that the student had made fun of him and called him racial names like "terrorist," says the official report.
“Ahmad wrote that he ‘could not take it anymore, so I blacked out and rushed him,’” it states, adding that then 17-year-old said he didn’t “remember the incident much.”
Alissa was later suspended from school and sentenced to probation and community service.
The report goes on to say that Alissa’s claims he was being bullied was not backed up by the dozens of students later interviewed by cops who said the attack “was totally unprovoked."
He attended Arvada West High School from 2015 until he graduated in 2018, Jeffco Public Schools spokeswoman Cameron Bell confirmed Tuesday.
“He was kind of scary to be around,” said Dayton Marvel, a teammate on the wrestling team.
Alissa once had an outburst and threatened to kill people during an intra-team match, Marvel reportedly said.
“His senior year, during the wrestle-offs to see who makes varsity, he actually lost his match and quit the team and yelled out in the wrestling room that he was, like, going to kill everybody,” he told the Denver Post.
“Nobody believed him. We were just all kind of freaked out by it, but nobody did anything about it.”
Another former high school team mate Angel Hernandez said Alissa got enraged after losing a match in practice once, letting out a stream of expletives.
Hernandez said the coach kicked Alissa off the team for the outburst.
"He was one of those guys with a short fuse", Hernandez said.
"Once he gets mad, its like something takes over and its not him. There is no stopping him at that point.
"If he did get ticked off about something, within a split second, it was like if something takes over, like a demon. He’d just unleash all his anger."
Hernandez said Alissa also would act strangely sometimes, turning around suddenly or glancing over his shoulder.
"He would say, Did you see that? Did you see that? Hernandez recalled. We wouldn't see anything. We always thought he was messing with us," he added.
A law enforcement official briefed on the shooting said the suspect's family told investigators they believed Alissa was suffering some type of mental illness, including delusions.
Relatives described times when Alissa told them people were following or chasing him, which they said may have contributed to the violence, the official said.
According to the New York Times, Ahmad previously had two run-ins with Boulder cops in 2018 – one on a report of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and one of criminal mischief. It is not clear if he was convicted of a crime.
Law enforcement officials also told the outlet that Ahmad was known by the FBI because he was linked to another individual under investigation by the bureau.
According to a now-deleted Facebook page, that appeared to be Ahmad's, he was "born in Syria 1999" before he "came to the USA in 2002."
The 21-year-old would post regularly on Facebook, including sharing the hashtag "NeedAGirlfriend" and sharing memes about video games.
He also made a claim that "racist Islamophobic people" were "hacking my phone" and stopping him from having a "normal life."
Ahmad also shared a video that's caption claimed it showed a "corrections officer turn off his body cam before repeatedly punching an inmate with a mental health condition," which he caption: "This is not okay."
His school, Arvada West High School, confirmed to The Sun that Alissa was a student from March 2015 until he graduated in May 2018.
"Jeffco Public Schools and the Board of Education are saddened by the tragic event that took place in Boulder," the school said.
"We share the heartbreak of the families, coworkers, and friends of the victims and of the Colorado community that again faces another senseless act of violence."
Source: Read Full Article