The victims in the attack at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder range in age from 20 to 65. Among them is Officer Eric Talley, an 11-year veteran of the Boulder police force was among hundreds from throughout the Denver metropolitan area who responded to the attack.
Talley was identified Monday after he died in a shootout with the suspect. The nine other victims were named Tuesday in a press conference with police, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and other elected officials.
Colorado authorities identified the following people as victims of the attack:
Denny Stong, 20
Denny was an employee at King Soopers and a graduate from Fairview High School. His friends say he was an active member of the Boulder Aeromodeling Society and loved flying model planes.
Denny Stong, 20, was the youngest victim.
He was off the clock when he stopped in to shop at the grocery store and ended up in the line of fire, said co-worker Emily Giffen, who was on a smoke break when shots initially erupted outside the store.
Stong, whose mother also works at the store, was studying to become a pilot, Giffen said. In the meantime, he was a “goofball” who provided comic relief when his co-workers needed it.
“If you needed to laugh, he would always tell me these horrible dad jokes,” Giffen said. “He was a really well-rounded person and really a lot, a lot that he was still going to do.”
On his Facebook page, he said he was a fan of planes, bikes and motorcycles. In a nod to coronavirus-induced lockdowns, he’d framed his profile picture with the words “I can’t stay home, I am a Grocery Store Worker.”
Earlier this month, for his birthday, he’d asked friends to contribute to the National Foundation for Gun Rights, whose website says it works “to expand pro-gun precedents and defend gun owners.”
“I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me,” Stong wrote.
Neven Stanisic, 23
He had finished a job — fixing a coffee machine at the Starbucks in King Soopers — and was in his car, getting ready to go to another assignment, when the gunman opened fire in the parking lot, said Father Radovan Petrovic, the parish priest at the Stanisic family’s church.
Born in the Denver area to a Serbian refugee couple from Bosnia, Stanisic lived in suburban Lakewood. After graduating in 2016 from Alameda International Jr./Sr. High School, he went to work with his father at a company that maintains commercial coffee and juice machines, said Petrovic, of St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church.
Stanisic was an “all-around good person, quiet boy, very well mannered — respectful of others and older people — and hardworking person,” the priest said.
Stanisic’s parents came to the U.S. in 1998 after losing everything they had in their war-torn homeland, where conflict followed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Over 100,000 people were killed, and more than 2 million were driven from their homes.
“They survived the war and came here to start to have a new life, a better life. And then to have this happen to them — it’s mind-blowing,” Petrovic said.
Rikki Olds, 25
She had a big laugh and an effervescent personality, the kind of person who cheered everyone up and didn’t sweat what anyone thought of her tattoos or ever-changing hair color, her family and friends said.
“Rikki lived life on her own terms,” uncle Robert Olds said, calling her a “strong, independent young woman” who encouraged the idea of “being your own person.”
As a preschooler, she’d tag along with him and his sons to baseball tournaments and ask to go to McDonald’s afterward. As she grew up, she played softball and developed a love for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities.
“She was just a very kind and loving, bubbly person who lit up the room when she walked in,” said her grandmother, Jeanette Olds.
Rikki Olds originally wanted to be a nurse, but her plans changed, her family said. A front-end manager at King Soopers, Olds aspired to work her way up to store manager.
No matter what she did, she wanted to help people and be nurturing, her uncle said.
“There’s a hole in our family that won’t be filled,” Robert Olds said.
Co-workers said Olds was the go-to person when someone needed to vent, laugh or share a little gossip.
“She was just the funkiest, silliest, most wonderful person,” said Giffen, who remembered talking with Olds about a customer complaint Monday.
“I said, like, ‘Hang in there, girl,’” Giffen recalled. “‘It’s groceries. Nobody dies over groceries.'”
“Rikki baby, you were taken too soon. I miss you dearly,” her boyfriend Jordan Arthur wrote on Facebook above a selfie of the two of them, grinning in front of a rocky hill.
Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
Just this September, she helped her friend Sarah Lewis endure her grief after losing a loved one to a shooting in September, Lewis said.
“I would not have gotten through it without her. She is the one who I cried to every day about it, and she just listened, and when so many other people couldn’t listen to me cry anymore,” Lewis said. “She was the kindest, sweetest, most generous, just warm-hearted friend.”
When the two celebrated Lewis’ birthday last week, Bartkowiak was delighted to see her friend doing better.
“I couldn’t have done it without her,” Lewis said, choking back sobs, “and so I am like, ’What do we do now?’”
She had been looking ahead to planning a bachelor and bachelorette party for her friend, who got engaged on Christmas Day, she said.
A memorial filled with candles and flowers kept growing outside Umba, the clothing and accessories shop that Bartkowiak — who went by Lonna — ran with her sister on Boulder’s popular Pearl Street Mall. Lewis, who sells jewelry online, said Bartkowiak let many local artists sell their pieces in her shop.
Tricia Hunter, a manager at the Savory Spice store next door, said Bartkowiak was dedicated to her shop, traveling to festivals and working hard to keep the business going.
“She was a very free spirit, kind to everyone, always smiling, always happy,” Hunter said. “I rarely saw her in a bad mood.”
Hunter said she went to Umba to borrow shipping boxes and saw Bartkowiak on Sunday. Her death the next day was a shock.
“It is pretty heartbreaking that somebody is just running to the store to get something, and a gunman is there shooting people, and you get killed,” she said.
Suzanne Fountain, 59
She was an actress and mother who later won loyal clients as a Medicare agent, doing extensive research to find the right supplemental coverage for older adults signing up for the federal health insurance program, said her life partner, Phi Bernier.
“She never skimped, she never did something because it was easier,” he said.
Fountain trained at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York, and the two first met while they were playing lead roles in “The Glass Menagerie” about 30 years ago, Bernier said. They dated for a time and then reconnected after Fountain came to see him in a play in 2013.
Up until the pandemic, Fountain was also the manager of eTown, a nonprofit live music venue in Boulder.
“Suzanne was a bright light to all she met, and we were proud to have her represent eTown in our community as she welcomed people into our space hundreds and hundreds of times,” the organization said in a Facebook post.
Fountain won praise for her acting from both reviewers and those who worked with her.
“She was absolutely lovely, a natural, someone you simply didn’t forget,” Brian Miller, who worked with her on a show, told The Denver Post.
A Boulder Daily Camera review said her 2002 performance as a nurse in “Wit,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a woman dealing with cancer, brought “a simple but crucial compassion to the play.”
Teri Leiker, 51
Teri Leiker, who was also among the 10 people killed Monday, was an employee at the grocery store. The 51-year-old had worked at the supermarket for roughly 30 years, according to friend Lexi Knutson.
“She loved going to work and enjoyed everything about being there,” Knutson told Reuters. “Her boyfriend and her had been good friends and began dating in the fall of 2019. He was working yesterday too. He is alive.”
Knutson said she met Leiker in 2017 through a University of Colorado program that says it aims to foster friendships between students and “members of the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” The University of Colorado’s flagship campus is near the store.
A longtime King Soopers employee, she was a “spitfire” who felt free to yell “hello” across the store when colleagues came in to work, Giffen said.
“She wore her emotions on her sleeve, and whatever she felt was what she felt, and you could never shame her for it,” Giffen said. She said Leiker was dating a co-worker and that the two complemented each other.
She loved to watch the University of Colorado marching band perform in a kickoff celebration called the Pearl Street Stampede on Friday nights before home football games on the Boulder campus, band director Matt Dockendorf told The Denver Post.
“She was there even before we started gathering, which is half an hour before the stampede started,” Dockendorf said. “She was just a staple. She was kind of a personal cheerleader for the band.”
Officer Eric Talley, 51
Eric was a Boulder police officer who died in the line of duty. He had been with the department since 2010 and was one of the first officers at the scene and the police chief called his actions “heroic.”
He joined the police force in Boulder in 2010 with a background that included a master’s degree in computer communications, his father said.
“At age 40, he decided he wanted to serve his community,” Homer “Shay” Talley, 74, told The Associated Press from his ranch in central Texas. “He left his desk job. He just wanted to serve, and that’s what he did. He just enjoyed the police family.”
Talley was “by all accounts, one of the outstanding officers” in the department, Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said.
Talley’s father said his son — who had seven children, ages 7 to 20 — was a devoted father who “knew the Lord.”
“When everyone else in the parking lot was running away, he ran toward it,” Shay Talley said.
“We know where he is,” he added. “He loved his family more the anything. He wasn’t afraid of dying. He was afraid of putting them through it.”
Talley graduated from high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1988. The school superintendent there expressed condolences and praised “the example Officer Talley leaves us all.”
Talley was the father of seven children and had recently been looking for a less dangerous job, according to a statement released by his father.
Donations can be made through the Boulder County Fallen Officer Fund.
Kevin Mahoney, 61
He “represents all things Love,” his daughter Erika Mahoney said in a poignant tweet that featured a wedding photo and drew wide attention on social media.
She told NPR in an interview that aired Wednesday that the pandemic had almost forced her to reschedule the wedding, which she and her husband decided to hold in a small backyard ceremony with their families.
Erika Mahoney said her father had tried to hold back his tears “in big life moments for me, like when he took me to the airport for college, but really, it’s just his softness shining through,” she said. “I admire my dad so much, and that’s why I picked that photo, because I’m looking up at him.”
She also tweeted that she’s pregnant and knows her father “wants me to be strong for his granddaughter.”
Erika Mahoney said her father was shopping at Kings Sooper when he was killed. As news of his death became public, she said, friends texted her that he was like a father to them as well.
“One death trickles to so many people and to an entire community and beyond,” she said. “In this case, 10 lives were lost, and I think about my daughter and that my dad will never be able to hold her, but I know on some level, he will be there and he was so excited — and I’m going to tell her that he loves her so much.”
Lynn Murray, 62
Lynn Murray was a former photo director for several fashion magazines in New York. She moved to Florida then Colorado to raise her children.
Murray was shopping at King Soopers, where a friend’s daughter had seen her. Word made it to her husband, John Mackenzie, who drove to the store and started texting his wife.
After getting no answer in about five minutes, “I just fell over in my chair,” he said, choking up.
Murray had a long career taking photos for magazines including Cosmopolitan and Vogue, Mackenzie said.
“She charmed the pants off me” when they met at a photography studio in New York City years ago, he said. Computer backgammon games soon evolved into a relationship and eventually, two children.
“She’s the kindest person I ever knew, hands down. She had an aura about her that was the coolest freakin’ thing you’d ever want to know. She was just a cool chick,” Mackenzie said. “She had it all together — she really did.”
He said he spent hours consoling their children before he “lost it” Tuesday morning. Mackenzie offered a message:
“Don’t live in fear. My wife, none of the victims, would ever want you to live in fear. They’d want you to be bolder and live bolder. That’s what this place is about.”
Jody Waters, 65
Before the coronavirus pandemic, she worked at a downtown Boulder boutique called Island Farm.
The store staff was like a family, and Waters helped it feel like home, they said.
“She immediately took me under her wing, treating me like her own daughter,” said Madeline Soultz, 23, a former sales associate whose family lives far away.
Store manager Lily Rood, 26, said Waters, who had two daughters and a son, was “a mother to all the girls here.”
Island Farm opened its doors Tuesday to customers, friends and loved ones who came to reminisce about Waters — her penchant for collecting heart-shaped leaves on hikes, her animal-print decor at home, her get-togethers with co-workers over margaritas and the advice she gave.
“You could go to her with any problem,” Soultz said. Waters wasn’t shy about letting people know if they made mistakes, but “she knew your potential, even if you didn’t know it.”
Boutique owner Jen Haney added, “The world got dimmer without her.”
“Ten lives lost, ten friends, neighbors, sisters, brothers, parents, colleagues, community members, families that are grieving today – woke up today without their loved ones, including an officer that bravely died in the line of duty protecting this community, Officer Talley – his service and sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Rep. Joe Neguse said during a press conference Tuesday.
At least two other victims appeared to have worked at the store, including Rikki Olds and Denny Stong.
The Boulder Police Department also announced Tuesday that a suspect has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder in the mass shooting.
The suspect was undergoing treatment at a hospital and was expected to be booked into the county jail later Tuesday, said Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty.
Investigators don’t know yet why the suspect opened fire inside the grocery store, Dougherty said. He said the investigation is in the early stages.
“None of them expected that this would be their last day here on the planet,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Tuesday. “A simple run for milk and eggs, getting ready to shop, going in a regular way we all live our lives, something we can all identify with led to complete tragedy here today.”
The Associated Press, Reuters and NewsNation affiliate KDVR contributed to this report.