Colorado Supermarket Shooter Deemed Legally Sane but Had Untreated Mental Illness, Lawyers Say

BOULDER, Colo. – Colorado state experts have concluded that Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the man accused of killing 10 people at a supermarket in 2021, had untreated mental illness but was deemed legally sane during the attack, according to lawyers on Tuesday.

At a court hearing, it was disclosed that Alissa’s sanity evaluation conducted at the state mental hospital revealed the role of untreated mental illness in the tragic incident. The defense stated that Alissa suffered from schizophrenia, including auditory hallucinations, which contributed to the attack. However, it was noted that the evaluators expressed less confidence in their sanity determination for Alissa compared to other cases, without providing specific reasons.

Prosecutors refrained from sharing any details from the evaluation during the hearing, with District Attorney Michael Dougherty highlighting the upcoming trial as the platform for a comprehensive review of the issues raised by the evaluation.

Alissa has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for the shooting that occurred at a King Soopers store in Boulder. Investigations revealed that Alissa had researched mass shootings prior to his attack, targeting moving individuals and using a firearm with a high-capacity magazine to carry out the tragic incident in a minute.

Following the shooting, Alissa’s mental health became a focal point as his lawyers questioned his competency to stand trial. After undergoing medication and being deemed mentally competent, Alissa made the plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in November.

As the trial approaches, Judge Ingrid Bakke granted the defense’s request for a second evaluation of Alissa’s sanity at the time of the shooting from their own expert. Despite objections from victims’ families, the trial was only delayed by a month, scheduled to commence on September 2, allowing the families to move forward from the tragic event.

Erika Mahoney, whose father was a victim of the shooting, expressed relief at the trial moving forward, emphasizing the importance of closure for the families affected by the tragedy. The decision to continue with the trial sooner rather than later was supported by strong objections from those impacted by the events.