BOULDER — It is impossible to boil down a life into a few words or photographs. The ten victims of the mass shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder all have people who love them, and a community standing behind them.
News 5 has been gathering pictures and information about each of the victims since the attack on Monday at the grocery store off of Table Mesa. "It's just people that you pass by in your daily life and you don't really realize how special they are to other people and the impacts they've had," said Michael Steinberg, one of the people paying his respects at the memorial outside of King Soopers on March 24.
"I can't believe that this is continually happening over and over and over again... When is enough enough?"
A moment of silence is planned to honor all of the victims at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Here is what we have learned so far about each of the victims. If you have any information or pictures to be added to this article, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suzanne Fountain, 59
Suzanne Fountain is described as a force to be reckoned with, both on and off the stage. Her death leaves a gaping hole in the Denver theater community.
Fountain worked to help connect people with their Medicare benefits. Her friend for over three decades, Martha Pardee, still is not certain of why Fountain was at the grocery store in Boulder that day. Pardee said Fountain lived in Broomfield. "We're a week apart in age and we were both born in New Jersey... She just was so real and authentic and down to earth. I mean, I fell in love with her the first time we started working together, and it lasted 30 plus years," said Pardee.
Pardee was at the birth of Fountain's son, who she says was born in Boulder. "It could not have happened to a more life-affirming, loving soul. She was all about life and seizing the moment and living," said Pardee about Fountain.
Kevin Hart shared the stage with Fountain in a two-person play. Hart said Fountain made acting look easy. "You couldn't help but love her... Suzanne was so strong and so mighty, really, that it was an experience. I mean, I've done dozens and dozens of plays, and it's an experience I'll never forget," said Hart.
This is 59-year-old Suzanne Fountain, doing what her close friends say she loved to do. I've learned she was also a mother to one son. Hear from her best friend tonight on @KOAA at 10, as we work to honor the victims of the #BoulderShooting. (photos: @DenverCenter) pic.twitter.com/WvvPyXvvFb— Colette Bordelon (@ColetteBordelon) March 24, 2021
In Boulder, our Colette Bordelon spoke with Nathan Misfud, who said he knew Fountain while growing up because he was friends with her son. Misfud described her as warm, funny, and the life of the party. "I was praying that I wouldn't recognize any of the names, and then I heard her name, and I... it still doesn't feel real, you know? Such a wonderful person, full of light, full of happiness, great sense of humor," said Misfud.
"I'm at a loss for words except to say that I'm heartbroken."
Officer Eric Talley, 51
Officer Eric Talley was the first Boulder Police Officer to arrive at the King Soopers off of Table Mesa on Monday afternoon. He was killed while trying to save lives in the grocery store. His police car is parked outside of the Boulder Police Station, and is consumed with flowers, cards, and other items from people all over the state.
Read the redacted arrest affidavit HERE.
Misfud, who also knew Suzanne Fountain, had gone through some training to become a dispatcher with the Boulder Police Department. Even though he did not finish the training, he worked at the station long enough to get to know some of the people there. One of them was Officer Talley. "He always had a smile on his face, he was always just happy to be there... He was always super patient with me during training, very just easygoing and kind," said Misfud.
Officer Talley's father provided our Denver partners with a statement.
“He took his job as a police officer very seriously. He had seven children. The youngest is seven years old. He loved his kids and his family more than anything. He joined the police force when he was 40 years old. He was looking for a job to keep himself off of the front lines and was learning to be a drone operator. He didn’t want to put his family through something like this and he believed in Jesus Christ.”
Misfud has lived in Boulder his entire life, and cannot believe something like this would happen there. He said his heart is with Officer Talley's family, as he cannot begin to imagine their pain.
Officer Talley's sister posted on Twitter, saying her brother always wanted to become a pilot.
Officer Eric Talley is my big brother. He died today in the Boulder shooting. My heart is broken. I cannot explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many. Fly high my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn color blindness). Soar. pic.twitter.com/tgt2DxPsqz— Kirstin (@Roozersmom) March 23, 2021
As officers arrested the suspect on Monday, they informed him the handcuffs they used were Officer Talley's.
This week several Boulder Police officers & others responded to a local hospital to formally place Monday’s shooting suspect into custody. As they did, officers informed him the handcuffs used that day were those of Officer Eric Talley. The suspect was then taken to jail 1/2 pic.twitter.com/fSjuw0hr6G— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) March 25, 2021
Officer Talley leaves behind a wife and seven children. Rachael Flick, the widow of fallen El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick, wrote a letter of support to Officer Talley's wife.
Flick reflected on the relationship she had with her husband, saying the whole world changed when he was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2018. "There's just a bond there, and an understanding of what that is to know that your husband gave his life in that way," said Flick.
The Boulder Police Department reported that officers arrived at the King Soopers only a minute and forty seconds after the initial call came in. Once in the parking lot, Officer Talley led a group of officers inside the store in only 30 seconds. "He did not take cover. He did not hide. And that tells me that Eric Talley had the heart of a lion... He was not caring for his own life, he was caring for the people that he was sworn to serve and protect. And that's just, it's literally one of the most beautiful expressions of love that is possible in the human experience," said Flick.
Flick said Officer Talley's sacrifice is not in vain, but that nothing can ever replace the father and husband. "Losses like this speak to the sanctity of life, because even when hundreds and thousands of people rally around you, and show their support and donate and give their time, and offer activities for the kids, and the many wonderful things that I'm confident that people will do, and those things matter, none of them fill the hole that Eric left in their lives," said Flick.
Denny Stong, 20
These are 20-year-old Denny Stong’s senior pictures. He’s one of ten victims of the #Boulder King Soopers shooting. He loved that motorcycle, according to Lisa Siciliano, who took the pictures. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/0unxm5JJ6v— Colette Bordelon (@ColetteBordelon) March 24, 2021
The youngest of the ten victims in the mass shooting at King Soopers is Denny Stong. Stong worked at King Soopers, but one of his co-workers told our Denver partners that Stong was not on the clock at the time of the shooting.
Stong graduated from Fairview High School in 2019. "The youngest victim, Denny Stong, was in my daughter's graduating class at Fairview right over here... He seemed like just an incredible kid," said Michael Steinberg, who was at the King Soopers memorial on Wednesday.
“We are horrified and heartbroken over the senseless violence that occurred yesterday [Monday] at our King Soopers store located on Table Mesa Drive in Boulder, CO, resulting in the deaths of 10 people, including three of our associates,” Kroger Co., which owns King Soopers, said in a statement. “In the hours since the shooting, we’re learning of truly heroic acts that included associates, customers and first responders selflessly helping to protect and save others.”
A GoFundMe posted for Stong's family states "Denny was not just a victim, but a hero who guided people out of the store through the back and was leading people to safety before losing his life. His life was not lost in vain, as he had saved others while risking his. He is a hero."
That same fundraiser, started by James Noland, also says Stong "was talking about getting his concealed carry permit once he was old enough. He's always been pro second amendment. I just wanted to mention this because I know that this incident will be used as evidence for anti-gun legislation, and that is the opposite of what Denny would've wanted."
One of Stong's former high school teachers spoke virtually during a Boulder City Council special meeting on March 24. Amy Nelson's emotional words can be found at this link, starting at the 1:32:25 mark.
Stong's family held a private memorial service at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport on April 1. A group of pilots conducted a flyover after the service, in honor of the young, aspiring pilot.
conducted a flyover at the airport in honor of Denny. The family is greatly appreciative of the outpouring of support and assistance they have received. Fly high Denny, you will be missed. #BoulderStrong pic.twitter.com/NrpPWa2iXp— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) April 2, 2021
Rikki Olds, 25
Born in July of 1995 in Lafayette, Rikki Olds was working as a service manager at King Soopers on Monday, March 22. Two days after the shooting, her uncle described who she was as a person. He called her the light of their family. "There's a hole in our family that won't be filled," Robert Olds said. "You try to fill it with memories. You know, that’s tough. It’s tough."
During the press conference, her uncle said you never knew what color her hair would be or if she would have a new tattoo. She was strong, independent, bubbly, and kind.
Olds was also ambitious, and had originally wanted to become a nurse. But when that plan changed, she poured her energy into working her way up the ladder at King Soopers.
Olds had a younger brother, and was essentially raised by her grandparents.
Carlee Lough, who worked with Olds at the grocery store, also spoke during the press conference. Lough said Olds' nickname at work was "Wendy" because she would wear braids in her hair often. Lough said Olds always made a bad day a bit brighter.
Lynn Murray, 62
Lynn Murray's husband told The New York Times she was a mother of two, and had formerly been a photo director for Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and Glamour magazines. Her family is reported to have moved out of New York in the early 2000's, and ended up in Colorado after living in Florida for a short while.
On Monday, March 22, she was filling an Instacart order when the shooting occurred, the Times reports.
On Wednesday at the memorial outside of King Soopers, Corinne Idler was there to pay her respects. She said she could not imagine the pain of waking up without a loved one after the shooting. "No one deserved to die senselessly... Trust that everything's going to be okay when you go buy milk. Everything should have been okay for those people, so I just I feel terrible that someone had to go through that, because no one should have to go through that," said Idler, about all of the victims.
Kevin Mahoney, 61
I am heartbroken to announce that my Dad, my hero, Kevin Mahoney, was killed in the King Soopers shooting in my hometown of Boulder, CO. My dad represents all things Love. I'm so thankful he could walk me down the aisle last summer. pic.twitter.com/SLS2bdm5Hc— Erika Mahoney (@MahoneyEb) March 23, 2021
Kevin Mahoney's daughter, Erika Mahoney, posted a thread on Twitter describing her father. She said he represented all things love, and was so grateful that he could walk her down the aisle in the summer of 2020.
Erika also posted saying she is now pregnant, and her father would have been a grandfather. She said her father would want her to be strong for his granddaughter.
She ended the thread by saying her father will always be with her.
Jody Waters, 65
The family of Jody Waters released a statement on March 24 through the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.
It has been comforting and heartwarming to hear the impact that our mom had on so many people throughout her life. But it’s not surprising; she was extremely compassionate, humble, empathetic, and a truly selfless person. For those of you who didn’t get the opportunity to meet Jody Waters, you only know her as the victim of the worst kind of evil. To us, she was Mom, she was Grandma, and she was a friend to everyone she met.
Many people knew our mom through her clothing stores that she owned in Boulder and Denver for more than 23 years. She was a task master, creative, led by example, and had an unmatched work ethic – yet she always had time for others. Personal relationships were everything to her. She was the person who was always there when you needed help, support, or just a listening ear. She had a truly unique ability to connect with people. Honestly, it was sometimes hard to go places with her because inevitably, she would get pulled into deep conversations with people – stranger or friend – who were lucky enough to cross her path.
Although very outgoing, our mom stayed out of the spotlight. She gave so much to others but did so quietly and without any need for recognition or reciprocation. You could often find her hiking in Boulder with her two rescue dogs. Central to all was her family to whom she dedicated her life – two daughters Alex and Channing, son-in-law Corey, her lifelong friend and former spouse Chuck, and most recently, her young grandson Everett, who she called the “light of her life.” We will miss her deeply. As a family, we would appreciate our privacy as we mourn the loss of a life taken far too soon.
"We're with you. The Boulder community is still strong. We're going to be here for you."
Teri Leiker, 51
The family of Teri Leiker released a statement through the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.
Mom Margie, Daddy Tom, Brother Kevin, Sister-in-Law RoxAnn, and niece Rachael wish to thank the community for the outpouring of love and support it has shown their family in response to the senseless death of their beloved Teri. She was their sweet, sweet girl. Teri’s capacity for love was immense. They say she was the most joyful person to be around. Everyone loved her and she loved them back. She was known as a big hugger with a big smile, was sweet, caring, had a memorable laugh, and an incredible memory. During the floods and fires, she would cry and be so sad for the people affected. She always wanted to donate to them. She loved watching Disney movies and comedy on television. She had a great sense of humor.
Teri was born in 1969 in Colorado and spent her life in Denver, but mostly in Boulder County. To say she loved this area would be an understatement. She loved admiring the “Flatirons” and saw beauty in nature. At age three she was diagnosed with cognitive disabilities but that never stopped her. She was strong willed and was able to overcome any obstacle. Her positive spirit and determination to succeed led her to graduate from Longmont High School’s special education program. At the age of 21 she began living independently, with help from Imagine Colorado. She started her first and only job with King Soopers on May 23, 1989 and was proud to have been there so long. She looked forward every year to her work anniversary. Teri was a Courtesy Clerk (front end bagger), brought in buggies, and helped anywhere she was needed. She smiled at her customers and tried to share her happiness with them. She loved her job, customers and co-workers. In 31 years she was absent from work only due to minor health issues. She called her mom every day when she got home from work to let her know she was safe.
She was so proud in 2007 when she was able to buy a condominium through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. She loved her home; said she would never live anyplace else. She took great pride in keeping it spotless.
Her involvement in the Boulder community was profound, and especially with the University of Colorado. For 11 years she was active in the Best Buddies program. Best Buddies facilitates the creation of one-on-one friendships between students and members of the community with intellectual or developmental disabilities, to create a more inclusive world where organizations like it need not exist. “None of our chapter events were their best without Teri in attendance; the energy, love and humor she radiated was infectious. She taught us how to be CU Buff super fans, caring and deliberate friends, and joyous community members the world needs more of,” said Liz LaJoie, CU Best Buddies Chapter President.
Teri loved CU. She was excited when CU football was being played in Boulder. She attended almost every stampede over many years. She was there celebrating with her arm around “Chip” the mascot. She was able to attend a couple of football games, and frequently went to CU women’s hockey games. She loved all of it. She was a devoted fan and supported the marching band where she was frequently seen urging CU to victory. She always wore her black and gold CU outfits when they were playing and watched every game on television that she could.
In the early 1990s Teri found love with Jean Le Clare and enjoyed a relationship with him until his untimely passing in 1995. She later dated David whom she was with for many years. She loved traveling having visited Alaska, Hawaii and took many cruises with David and his family.
In 2019 she began dating Clint who is also a King Soopers employee (thank God he was not a victim) – she being there 31 years and he being there 32 years. They worked together and were friends for a very long time before their relationship began. In October 2020, Clint moved into Teri’s condo with her and they were excitedly planning their future together with an upcoming trip and planting a small patch of garden. Clint will be living in Teri’s condo to stay as close to her as he can.
In her younger years, Teri was quite the athlete. She was active in Special Olympics where she ran track and field, played basketball and softball. Every Memorial Day for around 15 years, she volunteered to provide security for the Bolder Boulder. She was so looking forward to walking the Bolder Boulder with Clint this May. For many years she and David went to the Dark Horse every Thursday night to eat hamburgers and sing Karaoke. She wasn’t a great singer, but she had great fun.
While absolutely devastated by her death, her family is thankful she didn’t have to live with the horrible memories of that day, to see what happened to her customers and co-workers – it would have been very overwhelming for her. She may have never again been able to be the wonderful person she was living with that trauma. She could not have gotten over it. Her loved ones are comforted in knowing she was met in heaven by her dear cousin Mark, her grandmother, Jean, and other family and friends. They will miss and love her forever.
Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
Tralona Bartkowiak's friends called her Lonna. She was a co-owner of a popular clothing store in Downtown Boulder called Umba Love. A memorial has been set up outside the store in her honor.
A good friend of Bartkowiak's, Sarah Lewis, said she was from Southern California originally. "Just have a huge hole in my heart right now because I'm going to miss her so much. It just doesn't seem real, but I usually come to the store to see her, and just had to come to pay my respects today... Lonna was the sweetest person in the world, she was so kind, and she just had the biggest heart. She worked so hard, she was so passionate about her business, and she was just there for me as a dear friend," said Lewis.
Lewis said she has known Bartkowiak for a long time through music festivals, and they became very close in the past couple of years. "The Umba logo is a heart because heart marks the spot. And she just was all heart, and all love, and so the support that we're seeing back is just a reflection of who she was," said Lewis.
This is not the first time Lewis has been touched by gun violence. Her friend, Zackary Smith, was shot less than a year ago in Denver. Lewis said Bartkowiak was also friends with Smith. "We've got to do something about the gun violence in this country. This isn't the first time I've experienced loss from this, and it's just so sickening and so senseless," said Lewis, who went on to urge people to use their votes for increased gun control.
Memorials are all over #Boulder. This one is for Tralona Bartkowiak - her friends called her Lonna. She was a co-owner of Umba, a popular store here. One of her friends tells me she radiated light, and the support we’re seeing now is a reflection of who she was as a person. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/G95ef2Oi9C— Colette Bordelon (@ColetteBordelon) March 25, 2021
Bartkowiak was laid to rest privately on April 2. Her service was livestreamed for community members who may have wanted to join at this link. A public celebration of her life will be planned when the weather gets a bit warmer. The latest information on her ceremony plans can be found at this Facebook page.
Neven Stanisic, 23
Neven Stanisic was born in the U.S. after his family fled to America in the late 1990s from the war in former Yugoslavia, leaders at Saint John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church in Lakewood told our Denver partners.
Stanisic's family released a statement through the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.
The Stanisic family wishes to express its gratitude for all the support and kindness extended by friends, neighbors and the family’s church, as well as by local authorities, including the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office. They also thank the broader Serbian community across the country and beyond for reaching out to them in this time of need.
We express our deepest condolences to other families of the innocent victims.
Neven’s funeral will be this weekend — however, services are open only to family members, parishioners and those close to the family. The family respectfully but firmly requests that no news media attend.
The family further requests that news media do not attempt to contact or approach family members in general until further notice. The family has been bombarded by media requests and urgently needs time away from the public.
Parishioners have united in prayer for the Stanisic family and have set up a memorial in front of their church, where people can bring candles, pray and pay respect to Neven. We graciously request that this weekend and its events be left to the family.
This article will continue to be updated with new information.