Victims in Colorado grocery store shooting include workers, soon-to-be grandfather

Ten people were killed, including a police officer, after a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.

Just before 3 p.m. Monday, officers were called to a King Soopers store following reports of an active shooter. Officers arrived “within minutes and immediately entered the store and engaged the suspect,” police said in a release.

“There was an exchange of gunfire during which the suspect was shot,” police said. The suspect was taken to the hospital and arrested on multiple murder charges.

Eric Talley, 51

Eric Talley, who joined the Boulder Police Department in 2010, was the first officer to arrive at King Soopers after reports of gunfire, said Police Chief Maris Herold, who said his actions were heroic.

Talley, the father of seven children, became an officer because he “felt a higher calling,” Herold said.

“I can tell you that he’s a very kind man and he didn’t have to go into policing,” she said. “He loved this community, and he’s everything that policing deserves and needs. He cared about this community, he cared about the Boulder Police Department, and he cared about his family, and he was willing to die to protect others.”

Talley’s father, Homer Talley, said his son “loved his kids and his family more than anything.” Kirstin Stillwell, his sister, called him a “beautiful” person.

“My heart is broken,” she tweeted. “Fly high my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn color blindness). Soar.”

Rikki Olds, 25

Rikki Olds was a front-end manager at King Soopers, Lori Olds, her aunt, told The Denver Post.

“Thank you everyone for all your prayers but the Lord got a beautiful young angel yesterday at the hands of a deranged monster,” she wrote, in part, on Facebook.

According to a Facebook page for Rikki Olds, she lived in Lafayette and graduated from Front Range Community College in Westminster. Relatives could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Denny Stong, 20

Denny Stong, 20, the youngest victim, worked for the King Soopers supermarket chain, according to his Facebook page. He listed planes, bikes and motorcycles as some of his interests.

In an apparent nod to the coronavirus pandemic, Stong had updated his Facebook profile picture to say, “I can’t stay home, I am a Grocery Store Worker.”

Stong celebrated a birthday this month and asked his friends to donate to the National Foundation for Gun Rights, whose website says it works “to expand pro-gun precedents and defend gun owners.”

Stong’s father, Nicholas Stong, declined to be interviewed Tuesday.

Teri Leiker, 51

Teri Leiker worked at King Soopers for about 30 years and had even met her boyfriend at the store, her friend Lexi Knutson told Reuters.

“She loved going to work and enjoyed everything about being there,” Knutson said. “Her boyfriend and her had been good friends and began dating in the fall of 2019.”

Knutson, who met Leiker in 2017 through a program at the University of Colorado, said Leiker’s boyfriend was at work on the day of the shooting and had survived.

Kevin Mahoney, 61

Kevin Mahoney had recently seen his daughter get married and was set to be a grandfather. Erika Mahoney, a news director for public radio station KAZU, wrote a touching post for her father on Twitter.

“My dad represents all things love. I’m so thankful he could walk me down the aisle last summer,” she wrote.

In another tweet, Erika Mahoney said she is pregnant with a girl and knows her father “wants me to be strong for his granddaughter.”

Tralona Bartkowiak, 49

Tralona Bartkowiak is from Simi Valley, California, according to her Facebook page. Bartkowiak, who goes by the first name Lonna on the platform, was living in Colorado.

Suzanne Fountain, 59

Suzanne Fountain was a financial counselor in the health care industry, The Denver Post reported. Friends and colleagues remembered her as “incredibly warm” and “absolutely lovely,” they told the newspaper.

“She was simply a very genuine person with tons of integrity,” said Hilarie Kavanagh, owner of Medicare Licensed Agents in Boulder, where Fountain had worked since 2018. “She was always bright and incredibly warm. You could just see it in her eyes.”

In her spare time, Fountain liked to volunteer at the musical and theatrical nonprofit eTown Hall.

Brian Miller told The Denver Post that he had worked with Fountain in a show and that she was a “very well-known actress” in the community.

“She was absolutely lovely, a natural, someone you simply didn’t forget,” he said.

Jody Waters, 65

Jody Waters worked in fashion in Boulder, her friend and colleague Scott Schaefer told NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver.

Schaefer said Waters did design work for his businesses, Embrazio, and was always optimistic. “She was a beautiful person,” Schaefer told KUSA.

“She was a beautiful soul. She was a warm person with a light in her eye,” he told the station.

Waters was a longtime resident of the city, but originally from Illinois, the Denver Post reported.

Colorado state Rep. Judy Amabile knew Waters. “I know her from a store on the Pearl Street Mall where I shop — and she’s gone now,” Amabile said on the state House floor Tuesday as she read the names of all the dead.

The other victims

Police identified the other victims as Lynn Murray, 62, and Neven Stanisic, 23. More will be added to this story as information becomes available.

Herold, the police chief, said the shooting was a “senseless act of violence.”

“We are committed to a thorough investigation and will bring justice to each of these families,” Herold said. “The Boulder community is strong and compassionate, and I know we will come together to take care of each other during this time.”

A suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.