BOULDER, Colo. – Hours after an emotional vigil for the victims, the Colorado man accused of fatally shooting 10 people in a supermarket faces his first court appearance Thursday.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, will appear in person before District Judge Thomas Francis Mulvahill unless Alissa waives his rights to do so. He won’t be asked to enter a plea yet but will be advised of the charges he faces and his rights as a defendant. He has been assigned a public defender and faces 10 counts of first-degree murder.
Alissa, a resident of the Denver suburb of Arvada, on Monday afternoon went to the King Soopers in Boulder – about 20 miles away – with two guns, according to an arrest affidavit. He had bought a semiautomatic firearm less than a week before the shootings, authorities say.
Alissa was shot in the leg and taken from the scene via ambulance. He was hospitalized overnight before being booked into county jail.
Investigators have yet to determine, or at least reveal, the motive for the attack.
The Boulder victims were identified as Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Eric Talley, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jodi Waters, 65.
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Talley, a father of seven, was the first police officer to respond to the panicked 911 calls as Monday’s shooting played out at the King Soopers supermarket. On Wednesday, hundreds of police officers and residents lined streets to pay respects to Talley, whose hearse slowly rolled through the streets in a procession from the coroner’s office in Boulder to a funeral home in Aurora.
“Thank you to everyone who lined the roadways, overpasses and more this afternoon to show your support,” the police department tweeted. “Words can’t express just how much this meant to us #BoulderStrong”
Later Wednesday, hundreds of mourners gathered in downtown Boulder at dusk as the city continued to mourn the tragedy. A string quartet played while mourners held candles and flowers to pay their respects and called for a more loving and supportive world.
Nearly a dozen law enforcement officers stood guard — normally they would have been Boulder police officers, but instead, it was park rangers and state troopers and county sheriffs deputies who stepped in. Several held bouquets of flowers handed to them by mourners.
As darkness fell, Anna Chensny, 24, silenced the crowd with a solo version of Ave Maria, moving several attendees to tears and sobs. The Boulder resident said she had a panic attack in her car Tuesday night after going grocery shopping.
“I found this one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” she said of her performance Wednesday night. “It’s hard to share your voice when you’re shaking with tears.”
Bacon reported from Arlington, Virginia. Contributing: Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
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