Who We Lost In The Boulder King Soopers Shooting
Updated at 2:11 p.m., March 24
The 10 people killed in Monday’s mass shooting at King Soopers in Boulder were young and old, ages 20 through 65, and lived in and around Boulder. The dead included store employees, customers, and a police officer who was among the first to respond to the shooting. They were sons, fathers, grandmothers, mothers, King Soopers employees, and retirees. Some were friends and coworkers.
Police released their names Tuesday: Tralona Bartkowiak, Suzanne Fountain, Teri Leiker, Kevin Mahoney, Lynn Murray, Rikki Olds, Neven Stanisic, Denny Stong, Eric Talley and Jody Waters.
In the hours following the shooting, friends and family paid tribute to their loved ones across social media. Here’s what we know about the victims.
Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
Also known as Lonna, Bartkowiak was a founder of Umba, a clothing store in Boulder.
Emily Anderson stopped by a memorial for Bartkowiak outside the store. She'd worked for Lonna.
"It was a blessing right from the get-go," she said. "I'll always look back at it as a home. I also looked at Lonna as home. If I ran into her somewhere even after working here, just seeing her and feeling her energy and seeing her smile, it just felt like home."
"She had this very maternal energy about her. Just that warmness. I lost my mother and, for me, she felt like this kind of sister-mother-friend."
The store's Facebook page says: “We believe in positivity, and we can’t wait to share that energy with the universe.”
Dozens of friends around Boulder shared tributes as word of her death spread, with many friends describing her as a warm and joyful person. Friends described her as a person at the center of a community for clothing and music, and her photographs show that she frequently traveled to celebrate with friends at festivals.
Suzanne Fountain, 59
Suzanne Fountain was well-known in Boulder’s music and arts scene. The 59-year-old was a lover of performing in the theater and was a part of eTown Hall for 10 years.
Nick Forster, executive director of eTown, said Fountain was a special, warm-hearted, and generous soul.
“Her whole thing was about helping people solve their problems, sort out complex issues and find a way to where these things could make sense,” Forster said.
Fountain and Forster had actually met in 1988 when she and his wife were in a play together. Then once they joined forces at eTown, that practical personality was a huge help to the team. When he read her name on the list of victims on Tuesday morning, he said he was devastated.
“We know her through the incredible mark she made in the eTown community,” Forster said. “But she also made an equally profound or powerful mark in the acting community when she was an active participant here in Boulder.”
After leaving her post at eTown, Fountain took a job enrolling patients in Medicare and helping them navigate the financial process for Boulder Community Health. Forster said that job was a perfect fit for her.
“I only got to see a little tiny part of her professional life and was so impressed. And we benefited so greatly from her presence that it’s just unfathomable to imagine that all these communities within Boulder will suffer from her loss.”
Teri Leiker, 51
Teri Leiker was an employee of King Soopers. “She was funny. Everybody loved her at work — all the managers, everybody loved her,” said Allan Wooley, 54, as he visited a memorial at the store on Tuesday.
He described himself as a lifelong friend of Leiker’s. “She was friendly and kind, and I loved that about her. And she was easy to talk to and listen to.”
Wooley often saw her when he visited the market. “She made my day, when I’d come into get my pills or go grocery shopping,” he said. Leiker was among the most veteran employees of a store that was known for having long-tenured employees, said coworker Darcy Lopez.
Kevin Mahoney, 61
Kevin Mahoney was remembered by his daughter Erika Mahoney on Twitter this morning. She shared a photo of Kevin Mahoney walking her down the aisle in her wedding dress and said she was thankful they could to share that moment. She also said he represented all the things love, and she called him her hero.
"He would play outside with us for hours in the summertime like hide and seek all over the neighborhood," she later told NPR's Morning Edition. "A lot of my friends have been texting me today and throughout this time saying that he was like a dad to them, too."
She said the last time she saw him was around her wedding and a road trip after -- a "family honeymoon" that took the place of the honeymoon she and her husband couldn't take because of the pandemic.
"My husband and I decided that we didn't want to let covid get in the way of our love. We thought about holding off for a year or so. Instead we just got married in our backyard and decided to tie the knot with just family and now I'm just so grateful because if we had waited I don't know if he would have been here to walk me down the aisle."
In the same Twitter thread, Erika Mahoney announced that she was pregnant, and added that she knows her father wants her to be strong for his granddaughter.
"One death trickles to so many people," she told NPR. "To an entire community and beyond and in this case ten lives were lost and I think about my daughter and that my dad will never be able to hold her."
Lynn Murray, 62
Lynn Murray was working in the store as an Instacart shopper when the attack occurred, The New York Times reported. She was retired from a career as a photo director for magazines in New York City.
Her 24-year-old daughter, Olivia Mackenzie, told The Denver Post that Murray was “the warmest, kindest, most positive person.” Murray is also survived by her son Pierce, 22, and her husband, John MacKenzie. She enjoyed filling online grocery orders as a way to help people, the Times reported.
“I just want her to be remembered as just as this amazing, amazing comet spending 62 years flying across the sky,” John Mackenzie told the Times.
Rikki Olds, 25
“See you Thursday.”
That's the last thing Robert Olds, Rikki's uncle, heard from her in their last conversation. Rikki Olds was supposed to visit to celebrate her grandmother's birthday.
She is remembered by loved ones as a loyal friend and a joy to be around.
“When Rikki showed up at the house, we never knew what color her hair was going to be. We never knew what new tattoo she may have,” Robert Olds said. “Rikki lived life on her own terms. Rikki didn't care about if people judged her on her hair color or how many tattoos she had. She was a strong, independent young woman.”
She loved camping and hiking with her friends.
“Rikki was kind of the light of our family,” Robert Olds said.
A manager at the King Soopers who frequently worked at the front of the store, Rikki Olds was “beloved,” said coworker Maggie Montoya. “She was always so nice to us.”
Olds had worked for the chain for five years, said Darcy Lopez, a fellow manager at the Table Mesa location. Olds was a star employee who was driven to learn every aspect of the business, quickly propelling her into a career path that most people don't reach until their 30s or 40s, Lopez said.
Lopez remembered her younger friend as being spunky and kind. She was determined to cheer her colleagues up when they were down, often using her robot dance to do it.
"She just had her own style, her own little spunk about her. She always had different colored hair. She was like the punk rocker kid. But she was smart, and she was a hard worker. She learned. She knew bakery, she knew deli, she knew Murray's Cheese Shop, she knew the front end, she knew ClickList, she knew almost everything," said Lopez, who was a member of the UFCW Local 7. She saw Olds' hard work as a response to instability in her childhood. The young woman wanted to make a better life for herself and others.
Carlee Lough was good friends with Rikki Olds. They worked together at King Soopers. Her best memories of Rikki were when she would stop in her tracks and dance to make her friends smile.
“We called it her gorilla dance,” Lough said. “She would flail her arms. Anything to make you smile, to make you laugh. If you were having that bad day, Rikki was there to make it better.”
Robert Olds said she loved her job. She was talented at customer service and diffusing conflicts. He added that she had a bad relationship with her mother, and was mostly raised by her grandparents. He thinks that is why she was a friend who would show up for those in need.
“I think it stems from her relationship with her mother and wanting to be that nurture, that nurturing person that maybe she didn't get what she was younger,” he said.
Neven Stanisic, 23
Neven Stanisic was a hard-working, faithful young man, said Rev. Radovan Petrovic. Stanisic’s family fled from Serbia to Bosnia and eventually to Lakewood in 1998, displaced by the violence of the Yugoslav Wars.
Stanisic was born soon after his family moved to Colorado. He was a serious boy who cared for his family and began working as soon as he graduated high school, said Petrovic, who leads Saint John The Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church in Lakewood.
“Especially seeing Neven, knowing him from when he was six years old, to become this, grown-up young adult, it's amazing,”Petrovic said.
“He was a very good boy, a very good kid. He loved his family so much, so very much, and his family loved him and provided for him — and he definitely was trying to provide for his family as well.”
Stanisic was working for a company that maintained coffee machines. He had just finished working on a machine at the Starbucks in the grocery store, police told the family, according to the reverend. He had just gotten in his car to leave when he was fatally shot by the gunman. Stanisic was likely the first victim, Petrovic said.
Stanisic is survived by his mother and father and a younger sister, Petrovic said. His death has devastated the Serbian community in the Denver metro and beyond.
“The family is wondering, how this can happen here in this country, to which they fled from war from madness, from poverty — leaving everything behind or being expelled from centuries-old homes homes … to come to this country and start the new life, and then to have this tragedy happen to them and to lose their son here?” the reverend said.
The only answer he can give comes from God and community.
Denny Stong, 20
Stong’s Facebook profile describes him as a resident of Boulder and an employee of King Soopers since 2018. “I can’t stay home. I am a Grocery Store Worker,” his profile picture declared.
Kroger confirmed he was an employee Tuesday evening in a tweet.
A fundraiser for Stong’s family said he was “a kind soul with a funny sense of humor and unique interests,” and said that he had risked his life to protect others during the attack.
“He did nothing wrong and deserved this in no way at all. He made no choice that led to this. He simply showed up to work, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” read the post by James Noland, a self-described lifelong friend.
Stong’s Facebook page stressed that he was a supporter of gun rights.
Eric Talley, 51
Talley was the first police officer to respond to the attack on Monday afternoon, Boulder police said. He suffered a fatal gunshot wound.
Talley had been with the Boulder Police Department since 2010. Talley spent time as the officer assigned to the residential district near the grocery store in south Boulder.
He entered the profession later in life, coming from information technology, The Washington Post reported.
Talley was a father of seven, his father told Denver7.
Jody Waters, 65
Waters, the oldest of the victims, had an eye for style and design, which she channeled into a career in fashion. Her friend and business colleague Stephanie Boyle said she would help Boyle set up booths at local events for her leather accessories business and gave her advice on stores with which to collaborate.
Boyle says the two women were friends for eight years and that she was a gentle spirit.
“When you were in her presence, you felt the love,” Boyle said. “Also, she was looking to be her best self.”
Boyle says she learned the news about Waters’ death on the evening of the shooting, through a friend.
“I’m just heartbroken. It just seems so senseless,” Boyle said, her voice breaking. “This person just went and killed her. And he didn’t know her.”
Waters had two daughters and a young grandchild, according to Boyle. And she said those relationships have been taken away.
The Latest On The Boulder King Soopers Shooting:
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- Victims: Who We Lost In The Boulder King Soopers Shooting
- King Soopers Employees: "We Weren't Already Hard Enough? This Had To Happen Too?”
- Motive: Police Are Still Searching For A Motive
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- Guns: We Want To Hear From You: What Do You Want To Know About Gun Laws In Colorado?
- Next Steps: Colorado Lawmakers Are Considering A Ban On 'Assault-Style' Weapons
- In Photos: Here's Some Of What We Saw As Last Week Unfolded
- Mass Shootings: Colorado Has More Mass Shootings Than Other Places
- Mental Health: As Mass Shootings And Pandemic Collide In Colorado, Mental Health Experts Urge Connection Now More Than Ever
- Suspect: Boulder DA expects to file additional charges against the 21-year-old shooter
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misspelled James Noland's last name.
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