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

"My dad represents all things love," the daughter of victim Kevin Mahoney tweeted Tuesday.
Top row, from left: Eric Talley, Rikki Olds, Denny Stong, Jody Waters, Teri Leiker, and bottom row, from left: Lynn Murray, Suzanne Fountain, Kevin Mahoney and Tralona Bartkowiak.
Top row, from left: Eric Talley, Rikki Olds, Denny Stong, Jody Waters, Teri Leiker, and bottom row, from left: Lynn Murray, Suzanne Fountain, Kevin Mahoney and Tralona Bartkowiak.NBC News
/ Source: NBC News

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.

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"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.via Facebook

Olds was born in Lafayette, which is east of Boulder, in 1995 and attended Front Range Community College in pursuit of a career in nursing, a representative of her family said in a statement. She changed career paths and was hired by King Soopers in 2016, and she moved up in the company, the statement said.

She was described as having a bubbly personality with an infectious laugh. "Her life will not be remembered by her last moments, but instead by the impact she made each day in the lives of her family, friends and co-workers," the statement said.

Her uncle said the 25-year-old's "dreams changed" and she set her sights on being a store manager because she enjoyed customer service and liked "helping people."

Carlee Lough, Rikki's friend and co-worker, remembered her as "level-headed" and said she was great at helping customers.

“Rikki lived life on her own terms," Robert Olds said. "Rikki was going to do what she thought was right … She was a strong independent young woman.”

Denny Stong, 20

Denny Stong.via Facebook

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.via Facebook

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.via Facebook

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.via Facebook

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.Courtesy of Philippe Bernier

Suzanne Fountain worked as the home manager for the event venue eTown Hall, her partner of more than eight years, Philippe Bernier, told NBC News.

The pair met over 30 years ago as stage actors and were in a relationship for six months before reconnecting again eight years ago while she was performing in a play in Denver. Besides theater, another hobby of hers was music, Bernier said.

Friends and colleagues remembered Fountain as "incredibly warm" and "absolutely lovely," they told The Denver Post.

"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.via Facebook

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 business, Embrazio, and was always optimistic. “She was a beautiful person,” he 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.

Lynn Murray, 62

Lynn Murray.John Mackenzie / AP

Lynn Murray had a long career in photography and took pictures for magazines including Cosmopolitan and Vogue, The Associated Press reported. She met husband John Mackenzie at a New York City studio where she was a producer in 1991.

"I felt that I had met the kindest, gentlest soul I have ever met in my entire life," Mackenzie told NBC News on Wednesday. "And immediately was attracted to her and her spirit."

They had two children. Daughter Olivia said her mother was full of grace.

"She was unlike anybody. ... She was my favorite person," Olivia Mackenzie said.

John Mackenzie found out that his wife was in the store when her friend texted him; that woman's daughter had passed Murray on her way out and they chatted, he said.

He tried to go to the scene but was blocked by police. He texted her repeatedly from a Starbucks and got no answer. "That was not Lynn," he said. "That would never happen. And it just sickened me."

Mackenzie said that Americans need to come together and have an intelligent dialogue about what needs to change in the country.

"I would love for this never to happen to anyone, ever again. I would never wish this on anyone, never," he said. "It's impossible."

Neven Stanisic, 23

The family of Neven Stanisic was too distraught to speak to the media, but their priest, Rev. Radovan Petrovic of St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church, remembered the young man as a "good boy" who he first met when Stanisic was 6 years old.

"Very good people, very hardworking people. They brought up their son in the same manner," Petrovic said. "He was a good boy. Honest, reliable and hard-working person."

The church serves a community of refugees who fled war, Petrovic said. Stanisic went to work Monday morning, and his family later learned that he would not be coming home, he said.

"It's disaster for them," Petrovic said. "They came here to have a new life, a new beginning, obviously fleeing from the war. And to have this happen to them is just devastating."

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," she 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, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.

This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.