Family and friends are sharing their stories about the victims of Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.
Outside of the King Soopers grocery store, a makeshift memorial is growing bigger by the hour with people adorning it with wreaths, candles, banners reading “#Boulderstrong” and 10 crosses with blue hearts and the victims’ names. The community continues to cope with the tragedy while multiple families prepare to lay their loved ones to rest.
Kevin Mahoney, 61, had walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding last summer and was about to become a grandfather.
Teri Leiker, 51, was an employee at the King Soopers grocery store for 31 years.
Twenty-year-old Denny Stong was paying for his lunch when the shooting broke out. His career dream was to become an airline pilot.
Rikki Olds, a manager at the King Soopers, was just 25 years old.
“She was just giggly and bubbly and you couldn’t be sad around her,” said family member Lori Olds. “We’re watching it on my phone, as the police are, are just getting there. And you know, we’re horrified.”
Suzanne Fountain, 59, was known as a kind and talented actress. Lynn Murray, 62, was a retired mother of two. Jody Waters, 65, was a grandmother who worked in a clothing boutique.
The cousin of 49-year old Tralona Bartkowiak said she was “the backbone” of her family.
Also killed was 23-year old Neven Stanisic, whose family fled the war in Bosnia, was described as a “man of faith.”
Police officer Eric Talley, who was the first officer on scene, was an 11-year veteran of the Boulder Police Department. He was shot in the head, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
“This officer had seven children ages 5 to 18,” said Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold. “I just had that officer’s whole family in my office two weeks ago to give him an award.”
Officer Talley’s mother, Judy Talley said her son died while serving and protecting the public.
“My son gave his life to save those people at the Kings Soopers. He gave it all and still the hate continues.”
Talley’s police cruiser, parked outside the police station, is draped with flowers as a memorial.
The shooter has been identified by authorities as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. Posts from his now-deleted Facebook page show he hated Donald Trump and believed Trump supporters had hacked his phone. However, he hasn’t told the police why he chose to kill innocent people.
Alissa was shot and wounded in the leg after exchanging gunfire with the police. He faces 10 counts of murder in the first-degree, police said Tuesday.
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