Colorado shooting suspect moved to different jail over ‘safety concerns and threats’

The man accused of gunning down 10 people at a Colorado supermarket was moved to a different facility over “safety concerns and threats,” officials said.

Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, the suspect in Monday’s mass shooting at the King Soopers grocery store, was originally booked into the Boulder County Jail.

Carrie Haverfield, a spokesperson for the county sheriff’s office, told NBC News on Friday morning that he “remains under our custody.”

“However, he is being housed at another correctional facility outside of Boulder County due to safety concerns and threats that our jail staff became aware of,” she said.

A jail spokesperson confirmed he was not being held at the facility, but did not provide any more details.

The Boulder Daily Camera was the first outlet to report the move, which came after Alissa, 21, made his first public appearance in court Thursday.

He was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the mass shooting, police said. During a hearing before Judge Thomas Mulvahill, Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said more charges are likely within the next two weeks.

“Our position is that we cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa’s mental illness,” defense attorney Kathryn Herold told the court.

Dougherty said investigators were still working the crime scene Thursday and that his office has not received any police reports that he could share with the defense.

Mulvahill ordered Alissa held without bail and said his next hearing is to be no sooner than in 60 days.

Martin Stuart, chairman of the Colorado Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section, said Thursday that while Colorado law allows for a mental illness defense, it’s a highly unlikely path to acquittal.

“It’s rare that someone pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, and it’s very rare” that it works, Stuart said, citing the case of the killer at a movie theater in Aurora in 2012, who had documented mental health issues but was still convicted of all murder charges against him.

“It is a very difficult defense to prevail upon,” he said.

Among the 10 who were killed was Boulder police Officer Eric Talley, 51, who had been the first officer to arrive at the King Soopers on Monday. Talley, a father of seven, was an 11-year veteran of the Boulder police force.

Alissa was also accused of killing 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 Jody Waters, 65.

Colorado residents have become familiar with mass shootings, as two of this generation’s most notorious massacres took place within short drives from Boulder.

King Soopers is 35 miles north of Columbine High School in Littleton, where 13 people were killed April 20, 1999, before the two gunmen took their own lives.

And it is 35 miles northwest of the Century 16 Theater in Aurora, where a gunman opened fire on moviegoers July 20, 2012. Twelve people, who had gathered for a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” were killed.


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