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The Denver Gazette

Boulder Strong Day of Remembrance honors lives lost in King Soopers shooting March 22

By Kyla Pearce,

2023-03-14
https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1GNuqR_0lIwLmFD00
FILE PHOTO: A mural named “A New Day” by Boulder artist Lael Har can be seen in the vestibule at the King Soopers grocery store on Table Mesa Drive that was the scene of a mass shooting last year, as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Boulder, Colo. Timothy Hurst/The Gazette

A week from Wednesday marks two years since Boulder lost 10 community members in a mass shooting that left the city grieving.

As the city heals and moves forward from the 2021 tragedy, it will remember the people who lost their lives on March 22, 2021 through an annual Boulder Strong Day of Remembrance on the two-year anniversary of the shooting.

The city and several local partners are inviting the community to attend or livestream the gathering, which will happen March 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 1535 Spruce St. in Boulder.

The gathering is free but requires advance registration at bouldercolorado.gov/boulderstrong.

On the afternoon of March 22, 2021, police allege then-21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa opened fire with a semi-automatic pistol in the King Soopers parking lot before moving inside to stalk the aisles. Ambulance crews from around the region responded to a scene that — uncharacteristically, tragically — had only one memorable, transportable injury: Alissa, who was shot in the leg prior to being taken into custody.

Those killed were 20-year-old Denny Stong, Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Teri Leiker, 51; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; Jody Waters, 65; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, and Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley.

Talley was one of the first officers on the scene at 3600 Table Mesa Drive. The 51-year-old officer, who’d made the jump to law enforcement after a successful career in information technology, was a father of seven.

The store first reopened in early February 2022 after months of renovations, and after considering whether to reopen the Boulder store at all, said a spokesperson for the store in prior interviews. Employees, however, soon made it clear they “wanted their home back.”

In the time the community has taken to heal, Colorado has had several other mass shootings.

In May 2021, a gunman killed six members of an extended family at a birthday party in a mobile home in Colorado Springs before killing himself.

In December 2021, a gunman killed six people in a shooting spree in Denver and Lakewood, before a Lakewood Police officer felled him.

In November 2022, a gunman killed five people at LGBTQ+ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs.

"Our community has demonstrated incredible resilience in the two years that have passed since the tragedy," City of Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett said in a statement. "The Day of Remembrance is a way for us to honor the victims, acknowledge the collective trauma our community has experienced and bring community members together with art and music."

Resources for people experiencing trauma related to the King Soopers shooting are available at the Boulder Strong Resource Center, 2935 Baseline Rd. in Boulder.

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