BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – At least four of the 10 people murdered in the Boulder King Soopers shooting were on the job at the time of their deaths. Three King Soopers employees, and one Instacart employee were gunned down at the store on Table Mesa Road on Monday afternoon.
The man accused of their murders, 21-year-old Ahmad Al-Issa, is currently behind bars in the Boulder County Jail.READ MORE: Get Help: Counseling Available Through Disaster Distress Helpline & Other Resources
CBS4 has confirmed Teri Leiker, 51, Denny Stong, 20 and Rikki Olds, 25, were the King Soopers employees killed. Instacart’s Lynn Murray, 62, was also killed at the store.
CBS4’s Dillon Thomas spoke with those who knew some of the victims, including Logan Smith. Smith, an employee represented by UFCW Local 7 union, was in the store at the time of the shooting. Smith said he was with two of his colleagues who lost their lives moments before the shooting.
“I ran outside, saw the shooting, and ran back inside,” Smith said.
Smith said Stong was one of his best friends. He said he was visiting with Stong shortly before the shooting started in the parking lot, as the suspect slowly made way toward the store.
“We were just doing our jobs,” Smith said. “No one thought this was going to happen.”
Smith said he helped his colleagues take shelter as the gunman made his way through the store. Smith helped some hide behind the Starbucks counter. He eventually hid behind a trash can.
He recalled the gunman coming within 15 feet of him. He said he has regrets that he didn’t try and attack and stop the shooter, who police confirmed was covered with protective gear.
“I needed to help people, if I have to die it is my time to go. I need to defend people so they don’t,” Smith said.
CBS4 photojournalist Jeremiah Bellile was recording as Smith and his coworker were evacuated from the building, protected by two heavily armed police officers. Unfortunately his best friend, Denny Stong, did not make it out alive.
“He was a great individual, very respectable. He is one of the heroes from yesterday,” Smith said.READ MORE: 'Just Devastated': Neighbors, Family Mourn Loss Of King Soopers Shooting Victims
Chloe Durbin told CBS4 her sister worked at the pharmacy in the store. She said her sister was told not to come to work that day due to a schedule change. However, Durbin’s sister believed Stong died trying to protect others.
“We consider him a hero,” Durbin said.
Smith said he was close friends with Olds as well. He said she was much like a work-sister to him.
“I talked to her five minutes before the shooting happened,” Smith said.
Teri Leiker was remembered by the University of Colorado community as an avid sports fan who enjoyed being with CU fans at many sporting events.
“Know (Leiker) was the most innocent, caring, and loving individual that the world held,” one friend said of Leiker.
Kim Cordova, UFCW Local 7 president, told Thomas this past year has been one of the toughest ever for grocery workers.
“All of our frontline grocery workers have been through absolute hell,” Cordova said. “These workers have been traumatized.”
Smith said he is still trying to process what happened. However, he said his coworkers all signed an agreement to always help customers. He believes all of them died doing just that.MORE NEWS: Grocery Store Shooting: Who Is Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa?
“It is going to take days for me to personally comprehend everything, process everything. But, we must stick together,” Smith said.