Here Are All Of The Victims Of The Colorado Mass Shooting
Ten families were torn apart on Monday afternoon, March 22, when an armed man opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.
His senseless attack killed a father who only recently walked his now-pregnant daughter down the aisle, a police officer who leaves behind seven children, and eight others whose loss will change their loved ones’ lives forever. The shooter, a 21-year-old, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.
Here are their stories:
Teri Leiker, 51
One of three King Soopers employees who were killed in the shooting, she had worked at the grocery store for 31 years.
As remembered by her friend Lexi Knutson, Teri was ‘the most innocent, caring and loving individual that the world held’.
A huge fan of the Colorado Buffaloes, Teri loved going to sporting events and attended almost every Pearl Street Stampede.
Knutson said Teri would call her almost weekly, always at 6.00am, ‘Teri’s preferred call time of choice’. ‘She always ended the calls with “Love your buddy Teri”,’ Knutson told Buzzfeed News.
Denny Strong, 20
The youngest of the shooter’s victims, Denny had worked at King Soopers since 2018.
He had continued to work despite the pandemic, posting on his Facebook: ‘I can’t stay home I am a grocery store worker’.
His manager, Logan Ezra, said Denny was ‘one of the greatest friends’ he has ever had.
‘You pushed my buttons at times and made me grow, you taught me many lessons and brought me many memories,’ he added.
Eric Talley, 51
One of the first officers at the scene in response to the shooting, Eric has been hailed a hero by Boulder’s police chief.
The father of seven often worried about his safety on the job. Following his death, his father revealed Eric had been training to become a drone operator because ‘he was looking for a job to keep himself off of the front lines’ and ‘didn’t want to put his family through something like this’.
In a tribute to her big brother, his younger sister Kristen said she ‘cannot explain how beautiful he was’.
‘Fly high my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn colour blindness). Soar,’ she wrote.
Rikki Olds, 25
‘Today we are mourning the loss of our granddaughter, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend and colleague. Rikki Olds was truly one of a kind. She didn’t follow trends — she made them,’ her family said in a statement.
Rikki, another employee at King Soopers, had ambitions to work her way up and earn a management spot at the grocery store.
‘No one can replace Rikki and the happiness she brought to our lives,’ her family said.
Neven Stanisic, 23
The son of Serbian refugees from Bosnia, Neven worked with his father repairing coffee and juice machines.
A local priest from the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church Neven attended told Buzzfeed News he had started working right after high school to help his family.
‘They were refugees and fled the war and lost everything they had. They leave their home and come here and start a new life without anything and for this to happen here in the US is beyond imagination,’ Reverend Radovan Petrovic said.
Kevin Mahoney, 61
In a tribute to her late father, ‘her hero’, Kevin’s daughter said he represents ‘all things Love’.
‘My dad represents all things Love. I’m so thankful he could walk me down the aisle last summer.
‘I am now pregnant. I know he wants me to be strong for his granddaughter,’ she wrote.
Chuck Tomb, a former colleague of Kevin’s, described him as ‘a kind, smart, articulate professional who loved his family so very much’.
Jody Waters, 65
Jody, a mother and grandmother, worked as a designer for a fashion company in the city. She had plans to open her own boutique.
Her employer, Scott Schaefer, said she was a beautiful person who was always looking for ways to interact with people.
‘We loved Jody. She was a beautiful soul. She was a warm person with a light in her eye,’ he told 9News.
Suzanne Fountain, 59
A regular performer at her community theatre, Suzanne was well known among the locals.
By day, she worked as a financial counsellor in the healthcare industry, helping people navigate Medicare.
Her employer, Hilarie Kavanagh said Suzanne was ‘simply a very genuine person with tons of integrity’.
‘She was always bright and incredibly warm. You could just see it in her eyes,’ she told Daily Camera.
Lynn Murray, 62
A mother and retired photo director who had previously worked for titles such as Glamour, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, Lynn will be remembered by her daughter, Olivia, as the ‘warmest, kindest, most positive person’.
She will be forever missed by her son and daughter, and her husband John.
‘My mom was the least deserving person to die this way,’ Olivia said.
‘She really was the biggest light in everybody’s life,’ John told The Denver Post. ‘She would do anything for anybody. You can’t say anything bad about her,’ he added.
Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
Tralona, originally from California, co-owned a clothing store named Umba in Boulder with her sister. She had a huge love for art and festivals, which she channelled into her business.
Her roommate, Bj Cochran, paid tribute to his friend on Facebook.
‘Lonna was an angel with a heart of gold. Please remind everyone that you love them. Our time is not guaranteed here,’ he wrote.
Rest in peace.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.