It was revealed yesterday that of the 10 people killed in Monday's gun massacre at the Boulder, Colorado, King Soopers, four of the victims were people who were working there.
The Washington Post has brief profiles of these four people. Here are some excerpts.
• Rikki Olds, 25: "Rikki Olds was a vibrant and strong-willed woman who had shrugged off a covid scare while working at King Soopers, only to be killed in Monday’s shooting. Olds had worked for Kroger grocery stores for about six years, said her uncle, Robert Olds. She was working as a manager Monday.
"'Rikki was a very strong, independent, bubbly, outgoing person,' Robert Olds said. 'She was a people person who loved life'."
The Post goes on: "The pandemic had transformed the grocery store into an uncertain place to work at times, said Carlee Lough, a co-worker. But Olds had always lightened the mood with a joke, her infectious laugh or what everyone called her 'gorilla dance.'
"Olds would walk around, throwing her arms, making funny sounds as pop music played over the store’s speakers, Lough recalled with a laugh. 'She was a fun-loving spirit. … She would do anything to make you smile'."
• Denny Strong, 20: "Denny Stong was training to become a professional pilot. He had worked long hours stocking shelves at King Soopers since late 2018 to earn money for airplane fuel, said Laura Spicer, the mother of Stong’s close friend.
When the coronavirus pandemic began last March, Stong added a border to his Facebook picture that read: 'I can’t stay home, I am a grocery store worker' - an homage to essential workers who have risked their health throughout the crisis … Stong was gregarious, generous, confident and loyal. He was drawn to anything fast, including old muscle cars, motorcycles, dirt bikes and airplanes."
• Teri Leiker, 51: "Teri Leiker was a longtime King Soopers employee who enjoyed attending sporting events and singing songs from the movie Frozen, according to friends who mourned her on social media … Leiker had worked at King Soopers for around 30 years and loved the job, a third friend, Alexis Knutson, wrote on Instagram, adding that she had met the older woman through the Best Buddies program in 2017."
More from the Post: "'I am absolutely heartbroken to share the loss of my friend Teri Leiker,' wrote Katie Rinderknecht, a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. She said she met Leiker through the university’s chapter of Best Buddies, which connects students with members of the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 'All she knew was how to love and support those that meant a lot to her,' wrote Rinderknecht."
• Neven Stanisic, 23: "Neven Stanisic’s family fled war-torn Bosnia in the 1990s, said Iva Petrovic, the wife of the pastor at their Denver-area church. They left 'everything' behind, she said, Serbian refugees seeking a safe life in the United States. Monday’s shooting brought a whole new world of loss … Twenty-three-year-old Stanisic started working as a teenager, helping to support his family, she said. On Monday he was fixing the coffee machines inside King Soopers, Petrovic said. He was just leaving in his truck when the violence unfolded. Stanisic’s family knew he had a job at King Soopers. They tried to find him - but they couldn’t get anywhere near the scene of the shooting, Petrovic said. Everything was blocked. They called Petrovic and her husband about 3 a.m., crying, to share the terrible news, she said: Neven was dead."
No motive has yet been determined for the shootings.
- KC's View:
Heartbreaking stories about all the victims, and kudos to the Post for its excellent coverage.