Hundreds of mourners gathered Wednesday night at a candlelight vigil to remember the 10 people gunned down at a supermarket in a Colorado college town, while the 21-year-old man suspected of carrying out the rampage prepared for his first court appearance Thursday morning.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa has been jailed for investigation of murder since he was arrested inside the King Soopers supermarket in Boulder on Monday and treated at a hospital for a leg wound. He was to hear the pending charges he faces and his rights as a defendant, and he would not be asked for a plea until later in the judicial process.
Alissa was last seen handcuffed and being led out of the supermarket by police. He had removed all clothing except shorts before being taken into custody. A rifle, a green tactical vest and a handgun were recovered inside the grocery store, according to an arrest affidavit.
While most Colorado court proceedings have been conducted by video during the pandemic, District Judge Thomas Francis Mulvahill ordered Alissa to appear before him in court unless Alissa waives his right to appear in person in writing. The courtroom will be closed to the public.
More than 500 people bundled in winter jackets and wool hats attended a downtown candlelight vigil Wednesday night to mourn the victims and comfort one another. They observed a moment of silence; violins soothed the crowd; a woman sang “Ave Maria” as candle flames flickered in the crisp air. A star-shaped light usually turned on for the holidays glowed on a mountain overlooking the open square.
Michele Weiner-Davis, a Boulder family therapist, offered the community her words of wisdom.
“Whatever you’re feeling, whatever you’re thinking, no matter how uncomfortable, it’s completely natural,” Weiner-Davis said. “Be patient with yourself. Additionally, be just as compassionate with the people in your lives who might also be struggling.”
In addition to Officer Eric Talley, 51, the victims are Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jodi Waters, 65. Leiker, Olds and Stong worked at the supermarket.
Earlier Wednesday, hundreds of people paid their respects during a police procession for Talley as his body was taken to a funeral home in the Denver suburb of Aurora.
Police also announced that people whose cars were left in the supermarket parking lot Monday could retrieve them.
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