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Suspect in King Soopers Mass Shooting Pleads Not Guilty

10 people were killed at supermarket in March 2021
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
King Soopers Shooting
A King Soopers store in Boulder, Colo., was a shooting at King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., was the site of a mass shooting on March 24, 2021.

The man charged with carrying out a mass shooting in a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colo., in 2021 has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. 

According to Reuters, 24-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa entered his plea in Boulder District Court on Nov. 14 after a judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence to try him on 10 counts of first-degree murder, in addition to dozens of counts of attempted murder, assault and weapons offenses stemming from the rampage.

Alissa was initially ruled incompetent to stand trial on charges that he fatally shot 10 people on March 22, 2021, at the Kroger-owned grocery store, but was later deemed mentally fit.

Authorities allege that Alissa stormed the King Soopers supermarket, armed with a legally purchased Ruger AR-556 pistol, which resembles an AR-15-style rifle. Boulder homicide detective Sarah Cantu testified that Alissa killed two victims in the store's parking lot before shooting eight others to death inside the supermarket. 

The shooting spree ended when a police officer shot Alissa in the leg, leading the gunman to surrender.

Judge Ingrid Bakke set a $100 million bond for Alissa, who has remained in custody since his arrest on the day of the shooting.

After that tragedy, Kroger closed the store for 11 months; the location reopened in 2022 after a full remodel and ceremonies honoring the victims. 

During his session at the Grocery Impact event on Nov. 7, Kroger Chief People Officer Tim Massa briefly discussed the mass shooting, making it a point to mention that the CEO of Walmart was the first to reach out to Kroger to offer any assistance. According to Massa, the exec at the top retailer in the United States told his Kroger C-suite counterparts, “There’s no competition in tragedy.” 

As the number of crises in the United States and in grocery stores increases, Progressive Grocer has found that most grocery retailers are ill-prepared for a disaster event. According to a study of Progressive Grocer readers conducted earlier this year, a whopping 40% of grocery retailers said that they have had at least one crisis or emergency incident in the past two years. Half of respondents also said that the threat climate in their store(s) is now higher than it was just five years ago.

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