These are the victims of the Boulder grocery store shooting
(CNN) -- They are 10 people who went to the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday and never returned. Now they are victims of yet another mass shooting in the United States, whose lives are being remembered by family and friends.
Their names are: Boulder police Officer Eric Talley, 51; store manager Rikki Olds, 25; store employee Denny Stong, 20; store employee Teri Leiker, 51; Neven Stanisic, 23; Tralona "Lonna" Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.
Here are there stories:
Officer Eric Talley
Talley ran toward danger and was the first police officer to respond to a call "about a possible person with a patrol rifle," the police chief said.
"I have to tell you the heroic action of this officer when he responded to the scene," Chief Maris Herold said.
She said Talley, 51, had been on the force since 2010.
The veteran officer is survived by his wife and seven children, his father, Homer Talley, told CNN affiliate KUSA.
"He loved his family more than anything," Homer Talley said.
Talley's bravery was obvious on his last day of duty, his family said.
"Didn't surprise me he was the first one there," his father said.
In honor of Talley, Boulder officers used his handcuffs to formally place the shooting suspect into custody, police said in a tweet.
Olds was a vivacious strong, and independent young woman who worked as a front-end manager at a King Soopers grocery store.
"She was so energetic and charismatic and she was a shining light in this dark world," her uncle Bob Olds said.
Rikki Olds was one of 10 victims of Monday's shooting rampage at the grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.
"There's a hole in our family that won't be filled," the uncle said at a news conference Wednesday.
Rikki Olds, 25, has a little brother, who is "taking it really tough," Bob Olds said.
Bob Olds said he will always remember his niece's independence.
"Rikki lived life on her own terms," he said. "She didn't care about if people judged her on her hair color or what kind of tattoos she had."
He added, "When Rikki showed up at the house, we never knew what color her hair was going to be. We never knew what new tattoos she may have."
Olds recalled his niece's dreams and ambitions. The young woman "wanted to be a nurse, but that plan got altered, so Rikki had a backup plan," Olds explained.
"Rikki was pursuing her dream of being a store manager at King Soopers."
She had planned to come over to his house for a family gathering this week, he said. He can't shake her last words to him: "See you Thursday."
Monday, as news of the shootings spread, her family panicked when they couldn't reach her. "We had to wait and agonize over her fate for several hours," Bob Olds said.
"After calls to the police department and every local hospital and the coroner's office, we finally received a call back from the coroner's office."
Two other associates of the store -- Denny Stong, 20, and Teri Leiker, 51 -- were among the victims, according to Kroger, which owns King Soopers.
Stong and Olds were graduates of the Boulder Valley School District, Superintendent Rob Anderson said in a statement.
"Several of the other victims were parents of our graduates and given the fact that this is a close knit community, there will likely be many other connections to BVSD schools both amongst those who were killed and other victims," Anderson said.
"While we cannot fathom what would cause such an evil, we know that many in our community acted bravely when faced with unspeakable violence," the superintendent said. Anderson pointed to the actions of first responders and of King Soopers employees who "acted courageously" in trying to get others to safety during the shooting.
"We are eternally grateful for their quick thinking and bravery," Anderson said.
Leiker's parents, Margie and Tom, her brother Kevin and sister-in-law RoxAnn and niece Rachael in a statement thanked "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," the statement said. "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."
In times of floods and fires, the statement said, Leiker "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."
Leiker was born in Colorado and spent her life in Denver.
"To say she loved this area would be an understatement," the statement continued. "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."
Leiker was 21 when she began living independently, with assistance from Imagine Colorado, a non-profit. She started her first and only job at King Soopers on May 23, 1989. She was a "Courtesy Clerk (front end bagger), brought in buggies, and helped anywhere she was needed."
"She looked forward every year to her work anniversary," the statement said. "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."
For 11 years, Leiker was active in the Best Buddies program at the University of Colorado, forging relationships between students and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Last year, a King Soopers' employee Leiker dated since 2019 moved in with her and "they were excitedly planning their future together with an upcoming trip and planting a small patch of garden," the statement said.
"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," the statement said.
Stong graduated from Fairview High School in 2019, and Olds graduated from Centaurus High School in 2013, he said.
One coworker described Stong as a "wise young man."
"Denny was like an annoying little brother to me. I loved him, we picked on each other but respected each other," said 20-year-old Logan Ezra Smith, who worked with Stong at King Soopers.
"I want people to remember Denny as wise young man, me and him were both big Second Amendment supporters and would go shooting on the weekends, every weekends was a highlight.
"I will miss his smile and his laugh but as well as his honesty. He put you in your place."
Another friend, Bianca Porter, said she wasn't surprised to hear reports that Stong tried to protect others during the shooting.
"I had no doubt that he lost his life trying to save other people," she said. "That's who he was."
Stong dreamed of becoming a pilot, she said.
"He was really passionate. Denny had a work ethic like no one else that I've ever met," Porter said.
His job was not the most interesting, "but he looked forward to doing it. Never once did I ever hear him complain about having to go into work late or something," Porter said. "He just really did what he could and had no complaints."
Fountain, 59, was the sort of person who made those who met her feel they "already knew her," friend Helen Forster told CNN's Erin Burnett.
If you were having a bad day, Fountain's smile would cheer you up, said Forster, who had known Fountain since the late 1980s.
"She just would light up the room, and she was a bright light," Forster said. "It's a terrible loss of an incredible human being."
Fountain, an actress who had performed with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, worked for a nonprofit financial education program, signing seniors up for Medicare, according to Forster.
"All her life really she was about doing service, helping others," Forster said.
"All you had to do is be around her or her give you a hug, and everything was better."
Martha Harmon Pardee, an actress, told CNN on Wednesday that she met Fountain on stage more than 30 years ago while performing in a show.
"I loved her immediately," Pardee said. "That's just what happened when people met her. She was a bright light, a peace lover, a strong feminist."
Pardee said she and Fountain acted together only twice -- "but I never missed a show she was in because I loved to watch her, always learned something."
"It was a joy and an honor to work with her onstage because she was so connected, and so present and so generous," she said.
Tralona 'Lonna' Bartkowiak
Flowers, photos, balloons and messages formed a memorial for Bartkowiak, 49, outside Umba, the Boulder yoga and accessories shop she managed.
Matisse Molina, a friend who worked at Bartkowiak's store, described her as "the most amazing person I ever met in my life."
Molina said "she would rather make friends than sell stuff from her store."
"There aren't any words that could describe her to who she really was, because she was so amazing," Molina said.
"She touched so many lives, I can't even tell you. She has brought people from very dark places up to their highest points. She helped me as a person grow tremendously," Molina added.
Bartkowiak, known as Lonna, had recently gotten engaged, a friend told CNN's Kyung Lah.
Her cousin, who went only by David, told CNN affiliate KCAL that his family watched hours of footage covering the shooting when they found out her car was parked in the King Soopers parking lot Monday. Then, at 3:30 a.m., her mother called to say Bartkowiak -- who lived in the same home in which David grew up -- was among those killed.
"She helped raise me, she was always there for me," he said. "She was the most loving person I've ever met in my whole life."
Neven Stanisic's family said in a statement that his funeral services over the weekend will be "open only to family members, parishioners and those close to the family."
"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," the statement said. "They also thank the broader Serbian community across the country and beyond for reaching out to them in this time of need."
The statement added, "We express our deepest condolences to other families of the innocent victims."
Stanisic was working to fix the espresso machine at the store's Starbucks on Monday when Logan Ezra Smith arrived for work as a barista.
"Me and him immediately clicked and were talking the whole time," said Smith, who has worked at the store about a year. "I got to know a good part of his life in just a short period of time."
Smith said he and Stanisic, 23, were about the same age and had a lot in common.
"He seemed like a person I would want to hang out with outside of work," Smith said.
The pair spoke for more than two hours while the young man worked on the coffee machine.
"He had one of the strongest work ethics of any young person I've ever met," Smith said. "He loved what he did. He loved his friends. He loved his family. He was a great man, even knowing him for three hours total."
The Rev. Radovan Petrovic said Stanisic and his family left Bosnia as Serbian refugees and settled in Lakewood, Colorado. Petrovic met the family in 2006 when they started attending Saint John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church. The family is filled with hard workers, he said, and Stanisic was no exception.
"They always carry a profound memory from the old country but love it here as well," he said. "To them, it's beyond comprehension that they fled war and were forced out of their homes and came here for a better life and then have this tragedy happen."
Petrovic described Stanisic as a "really good boy" who was brought up to respect others. He loved snowboarding and basketball, which he played with church members.
When Stanisic graduated from high school, he decided it was best for him and his family if he joined the work force. He was a technician who worked on coffee and juice machines.
Petrovic said the family is trying to understand why their son's life was cut short, but to describe in detail how they're feeling is difficult.
"You have to be there to see the agony and the sadness that they have and carry with this tragic loss," he said. "The cries and the screams -- that can't be described. They can't stop wondering why. And why their son -- as probably all the other victims are wondering the same."
John Mackenzie used "magical" to describe his wife of 25 years to CNN affiliate KCNC.
Murray was fulfilling an Instacart grocery order at King Soopers, which is just down the street from their house, when she was shot and killed, her daughter Olivia Mackenzie told KCNC.
"She was amazing, just the best, most beautiful person in the world," Olivia Mackenzie said. "She didn't deserve to die like that."
She said on a GoFundMe the family created that they wish they could have her back, love her more than anything and are encouraging people to share a memory or a story about her on the page because it brings them happiness.
Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta told CNN in a statement her team is working with law enforcement and King Soopers to assist "in any way we can."
"We've reached out to the shopper's family to offer our support and resources during this unimaginably difficult time," Mehta's statement read. "For those members of our community who were shopping in the Boulder area, we're also ensuring they're able to take the time they need to grieve and recover from yesterday's tragic events."
When Waters, 65, looked at you with her green eyes, you could feel her love for you, her friend and colleague Stephanie Boyles told CNN's John Berman.
Waters worked with Boyles and her business partner, Scott Schaefer, at the leather boutique Embrazio.
"She had this sense of design that we really valued and I think other people did as well," Boyles said. "She had an ability to create spaces that just delighted people when they walked in."
When Schaefer got word that Waters was one of the 10 victims, he said they were in disbelief.
"It's interesting to see your own range of emotions evolve from shock and disbelief to deep sadness, and I think personally now I'm in reflection," he said.
Waters would always be looking for ways to "be her best self" so she would often share things she was doing to improve her life.
"Jody was a problem-solver at her core, whether it was her career, her family or self-development, so I think she would want us to take this event and make it part of solving this repeating problem," Schaefer said.
In a statement, Waters' family said: "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."
Waters owned clothing stores in Boulder and Denver for more than 23 years, the family said.
"She was a task master, creative, led by example, and had an unmatched work ethic -- yet she always had time for others," the statement said. "Personal relationships were everything to her. She was the person who was always there when you needed help, support, or just a listening ear."
Mahoney, 61, walked his daughter, Erika, down the aisle last summer. She told CNN's Anderson Cooper her wedding photo captured who her father's true character.
"He is filled with so much love. I love the photograph because I'm looking up at him and you can tell how he's so proud of me and proud of my husband who I was walking to and holding back tears," Erika said.
Erika is now pregnant with a girl.
"She will know how much her grandfather loves her and she can tell even in the photographs and the stories that we'll share how amazing he was," Erika said. "I think she'll have his spunky attitude and his love for the outdoors."
Mahoney was an outdoorsman who spent a lot of time hiking and was described by Erika as a neighborhood father.
"He spent so much time outdoors with my younger brother and all of our friends. He would play with us for hours," she said.
For the past five years had volunteered for Meals on Wheels. Erika told CNN she was able to accompany him one afternoon to deliver some food.
"It really just, I think, shows how my dad was to be able to go into someone's home and be that caring, comforting person for someone in need who lives alone," Erika said.
Mahoney was married to his wife, Ellen, for 35 years. She told CNN spending time with her husband during the past year felt like they were newly weds all over.
"This past year, during the pandemic was a blessing for us," she said. "It gave us time to be together. It reminded me almost like the beginning of our marriage. We took a lot of walks, we cooked together, we watched TV together. I'm very grateful for this past year because we were both working together as a team under very difficult circumstances."
The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.