March 24, 2021

Honoring the Boulder Victims

The 10 people who were killed Monday were young and old alike, but loved and missed.

We deliberately waited to comment on the mass murder in Boulder, Colorado, Monday because such things are often initially misreported and then the political narratives take off. Our Douglas Andrews offers thoughts on the killer, while Thomas Gallatin takes on the grotesque Democrat political agenda that they trot out with nearly every mass shooting. The focus here is on the victims and what we’ve all lost because they’re gone.

Rikki Olds was just 25, but she was a manager at King Soopers, the store where the murders took place. She was a student at Front Range Community College, where she was working toward a career in nursing.

Denny Stong, also a King Soopers employee, was even younger at age 20. His social media profile contained the phrase “I can’t stay home. I am a Grocery Store Worker.” He was training to be a pilot, and he encouraged friends to honor his recent birthday by donating to the National Foundation for Gun Rights.

Teri Leiker was a third employee who lost her life. Age 51, she had been working at the store for 30 years and was dating a coworker.

Neven Stanisic was a 23-year-old refugee from Bosnia and a parishioner at St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church in Lakewood. According to his pastor, he was “a very good, shy, hardworking boy,” and he was at the store to fix a Starbucks coffee machine.

Lynn Murray, 62, was at the store working to fill an Instacart order, but she had previously worked for Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and Glamour magazines.

Kevin Mahoney, 61, had not long ago walked his daughter down the aisle in her wedding. “I am now pregnant,” she said. “I know he wants me to be strong for his granddaughter.”

Suzanne Fountain was a 59-year-old local actress in shows around town, as well as the manager of a music venue.

Tralona Bartkowiak owned Umba Love, a small clothing shop. She was 49, and a friend described her as “the kindest and sweetest lady you ever did know.”

Jody Waters, 65, was a beloved family woman who worked at a leather goods store called Embrazio.

Eric Talley is particularly noteworthy as a law enforcement officer who responded to shots fired. The 51-year-old married and homeschooling father of seven gave his life in service to his fellow citizens. But Talley wasn’t your average cop. He left a six-figure post in IT a decade ago to join the Boulder Police Department because he felt a higher calling after a friend’s DUI death. As his father, Homer, put it, “Above all else he loved his family and his Lord Jesus Christ.”

These regular Americans are the ones who deserve the attention this week. Their families are suffering immense grief, and they should receive genuine compassion from all of us.

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