Judge Sends Man Charged in Killing of 10 at Colorado Supermarket to Mental Hospital

A Colorado judge ruled that a man accused of the fatal shooting of 10 people at a Boulder supermarket was not mentally competent enough to stand trial and needed go to a mental hospital, putting an indefinite hold on the proceedings, the Associated Press reported.

Ahwad Al Aliwi Alissa is charged with opening fire in a King Soopers store in March. Judge Ingrid Bakke made the ruling after District Attorney Michael Dougherty showed her results of a mental examination on Alissa.

According to AP, Dougherty said four doctors deemed the 22-year-old mentally incompetent to take part in court proceedings. He did not disclose the details of Alissa's mental illness or why the doctors came to that conclusion.

Bakke agreed he was not mentally competent and sent him to a mental hospital. Denver's 9News reported that Alissa will receive treatment at a state hospital in Pueblo.

Bakke set a hearing for March 15, 2022, to see if Alissa had made any progress, at which point she will decide how to proceed.

The hearing will come almost a year after the shooting, which took place on March 22. Among the victims were a police officer, store employees and shoppers.

Alissa is charged with 54 counts related to the crime, including 10 counts of first-degree murder, 33 counts of attempted first-degree murder, 10 counts of using a prohibited large-capacity magazine during a crime, and one count of first-degree assault.

The 9News report said that each first-degree murder charge has a maximum sentence of life and has no possibility for parole.

This week, the Boulder King Soopers where the tragedy took place announced that it will reopen on January 22 following a large-scale renovation.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Boulder, Colorado, mass shooting
Experts said that Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, accused of killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket in March, is mentally incompetent to proceed in the case, attorneys said during a court hearing on Friday. Above, Alissa is led into a courtroom for a hearing on September 7, 2021, in Boulder, Colorado. David Zalubowski/Pool, File/AP Photo

Alissa's defense attorney, Kathryn Herold, said Friday her client has a "serious" mental illness but did not provide more details.

An earlier evaluation found Alissa was not mentally competent, but prosecutors asked for a second evaluation to be conducted.

Bakke ordered the first evaluation after Alissa's attorneys questioned his competence based on an evaluation by their own expert.

Competency issues have also delayed the prosecution of a man accused of killing three people in a 2015 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

Robert Dear was repeatedly found incompetent to proceed in his state case. Federal prosecutors then charged him in 2019, but the competency issue has continued to delay the case in federal court.

King Soopers, Boulder, mass shooting, memorial
The man charged in the March 22 King Soopers shooting, Ahwad Al Aliwi Alissa, was deemed mentally incompetent and sent to a mental hospital. Above, a memorial is erected for the victims of the shooting on March 26, 2021, in Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images