Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the man accused of killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket in a 2021 rampage, is mentally competent to stand trial, a judge ruled, allowing the stalled prosecution to move forward. Judge Ingrid Bakke ruled that Alissa, who has schizophrenia, is able to understand court proceedings and contribute to his defense. Bakke presided over a hearing to consider an August determination by experts at a state mental hospital that Alissa was competent after previous evaluations found otherwise, reports the Associated Press.
Bakke said she was convinced that after forced medication, Alissa had a “far improved capacity to elucidate his reasoning and decision-making.” That is a critical component of competency, which partly hinges on Alissa being able to make informed decisions in his own case, such as whether to testify.
Alissa, 24, is charged with murder in connection with the shooting spree on March 22, 2021, in a crowded King Soopers Store in Boulder. He allegedly began firing outside the grocery store, shooting at least one person in the parking lot before moving inside. Employees and customers scrambled to escape the violence, some leaving through loading docks in the back and others sheltering in nearby stores. A SWAT team took Alissa into custody. Authorities haven’t disclosed a motive for the shooting. Alissa’s mental condition improved this spring after he was forced by court order to take medication for schizophrenia, said a psychologist who testified for the prosecution. Forensic psychologist Loandra Torres testified that Alissa said he bought firearms to commit a mass shooting. Torres said he also indicated “that there was some intention to commit suicide by cop.” evaluations throughout 2021 and 2022 found Alissa incompetent for trial largely due to his inability to communicate clearly and his refusal to discuss the allegations against him.