The 21-year-old Colorado man accused of gunning down 10 people at a supermarket in Boulder earlier this week is being held without bail on first-degree murder charges.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, from the Denver suburb of Arvada, has remained in custody at the Boulder County Jail since police arrested him at the King Soopers grocery store on Monday. He was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.
At the court appearance, Alissa will hear the pending charges he faces and his rights as a defendant, and he would not be asked for a plea until later in the judicial process.
While most Colorado court proceedings have been conducted by video during the pandemic, District Judge Thomas Francis Mulvahill ordered Alissa to appear before him in court unless Alissa waives his right to appear in person in writing. The courtroom will be closed to the public.
Alissa had bought a Ruger AR-556 pistol – which resembles an AR-15 rifle with a slightly shorter stock – on March 16, six days before 10 people, including a police officer, were killed at the supermarket, according to an arrest affidavit. Investigators did not immediately disclose where the suspect purchased the weapon.
One of the victims was veteran Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley. The others were identified as Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62, and Jody Waters, 65.
Hundreds of mourners gathered in downtown Boulder Wednesday night to hold a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the victims.
Investigators have not established a motive for the attack, according to officials.
Alissa was previously known to the FBI, The New York Times first reported Tuesday, citing law enforcement officials who said the suspect was linked to another individual under investigation by the bureau. No further details were reported.
Alissa was born in Syria in 1999, emigrated to the U.S. as a toddler and later became a U.S. citizen, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. The officials said he would need to be a citizen to buy a gun.
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, an official told The Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.