The doctors’ conclusion from the evaluation is not a ruling in the case, and the process of determining competency is ongoing, according to the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office.
For the family of one victim, it is a frustrating process.
“He was competent enough to buy the gun, the ammunition, competent enough to drive to Boulder King Soopers, confident enough to shoot 10 people and competent enough to surrender to the police,” said Robert Olds, the uncle of 25-year-old Rikki Olds, a manager at the store who was killed during the shooting.
“It’s a process,” Olds said. “We understand that. We understand he has to have rights, has to have a fair trial. It just doesn’t seem fair to us, as victims and victims’ families.”
Olds compared the family’s experience this year to a roller coaster – first, the initial shock and anger about what happened, followed by the ongoing ups and downs of the legal process now. He said he is hopeful that, at some point, the victims’ families will learn the “why.”
Olds said every delay, including this question of competency, delays the family’s grieving and healing process.
“We understand it’s going to be a long road. It’s going to be a journey instead of a sprint,” he said. “But when it keeps getting delayed, and that process hasn’t really started yet, that’s the frustrating part. For me, I’ll be able to grieve when this is over. It’s prolonging that.”
In an emailed statement, the Olds family gives credit to the district attorney’s office for their work on the case, and urges the court to “stand up for the victims and disallow any further delays in the judicial process.”
The family statement also includes a reference to other victims of mass shootings, and their families experiencing similar frustrations.
“After the last couple of months, our family has lost faith in the judicial process,” the family statement said. “In a case like this, where there is no question who the shooter is, it seems unjust to take months, if not years, to render a verdict. Each delay prevents our family from moving forward and from going through the grieving process, so we can begin to heal in some way. Sadly, we aren’t alone. These court battles are occurring across our state and nation involving other mass shootings. From our perspective, the judicial system does more to protect the rights of the defendant than it does to protect victims and their families, and that must change.”