Accused Colorado Walmart shooter competent to stand trial
BRIGHTON, Colo. (AP) — A judge ruled Monday that a man charged with fatally shooting three people at a Colorado Walmart is competent to stand trial.
Judge Mark Warner based his decision on an evaluation of Scott Ostrem done at the state mental health hospital at the request of his lawyers.
Ostrem, 48, worked as a metal fabricator at a roofing company and left his work station without explanation hours before the Nov. 1, 2017 shooting in suburban Denver.
According to police, he nonchalantly walked into the Walmart in Thornton, fired a handgun at a group of people in the checkout area before fleeing in a car. He was identified as a suspect based on security video.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the shooting.
His stepsister, Michelle Willoughby, told The Denver Post that he has been tormented by voices in his head since taking LSD nearly 30 years ago.
She said Ostrem had been outgoing, sociable and athletic before taking LSD at a party in 1988, and afterward he became a recluse haunted by voices saying the devil was after him.
The family contacted a hospital and Ostrem underwent a drug intervention but did not get psychological treatment, she said.
Ostrem’s apartment building neighbors say he was unfriendly and occasionally hostile toward them. His boss at the roofing company, David Heidt, said he worked there for three years without any problems.
He’s charged with killing 52-year-old Pamela Marques, 66-year-old Carlos Moreno and 26-year-old Victor Vasquez. He is also charged with 30 counts of attempted first-degree murder and committing a crime of violence.
Ostrem has not been asked to enter a plea yet.
A hearing is scheduled for June 8 to determine if there is enough evidence to put Ostrem on trial.