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Alleged Colorado Supermarket Shooter Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa Appears In Court

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The suspect in the deadly Colorado supermarket shooting made his first court appearance Thursday; Jonathan Vigilotti reports for CBS2.

Video Transcript

- The suspect in the deadly Colorado supermarket shooting made his first court appearance today. Lawyers told the judge the 21-year-old suffers from a mental illness, and asked for more time to prepare their case. CBS 2's Jonathan Vigliotti has more.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Alleged gunman Ahmad Alissa entered court in a wheelchair. Deputies with black mourning bands stood nearby as the 21-year-old was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.

- Sir, do you understand those rights as I've explained them to you this morning? We need you to answer out loud.


JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Most Colorado court proceedings have been over video during the pandemic, but Alissa was ordered to appear in person with his court-appointed attorneys, who requested a mental health assessment.

KATHRYN HEROLD: Our position is that we cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa's mental illness.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Prosecutors say more charges are coming.

MICHAEL DOUGHERTY: This is the beginning of a lengthy process that I anticipate will take at least a year to try to completion.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Alissa was last seen handcuffed and being let out of the King Soopers market, where police say he opened fire with an assault-style weapon. Grocery store worker Logan Smith hid behind garbage cans, just feet away from the gunman.

LOGAN SMITH: The scariest part of it all, not one word said by the gunman or anyone within the building that I could hear.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Smith says he witnessed the gunman shoot and kill the manager of the store, 25-year-old Rikki Olds.

LOGAN SMITH: I saw her get shot, and I immediately saw her just fall to the ground. Instinctively, I wanted to rush over and comfort her, but I knew that I would have lost my life as well if I engaged in that.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Outside the local courthouse last night, hundreds gathered to mourn the victims, including Boulder police officer Eric Talley. In an exclusive interview with CBS News, Talley's sister says the father of seven was training to be a drone operator so he could leave the force.

KIRSTIN BROOKS: He was like, it's not my job that's unsafe, Kirstin. He said, it's people. And he said, you know, he said it's not a bad job. He said, there's a lot more good.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: Brooks says while she's both angry and sad, she's not hateful. She says she refuses to give the gunman that kind of power. Jonathan Vigliotti, CBS News, Boulder, Colorado.

- Alissa is being held without bail, and will enter a plea later in the process. If found guilty, he could get life in prison.