The youngest victim of the Colorado supermarket shooting massacre was a 20-year-old worker with dreams of becoming a pilot — but whose life was cut short by being in “the wrong place at the wrong time,” loved ones said Tuesday.
Denny Stong, 20, had been employed at the Boulder King Soopers location where the shooting broke out Monday afternoon in southern Boulder.
“He did nothing wrong and deserved this in no way at all. He made no choice that led to this,” wrote his friend, James Noland, on a GoFundMe page.
“He simply showed up to work, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
On his Facebook profile, Stong indicated that he had been a frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I can’t stay home. I am a grocery store worker,” said a frame around his profile picture, referring to the coronavirus lockdowns.
The mother of one of his friends said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that Stong had been “training to become a pilot.”
“My heart breaks. My son’s best friend, Denny Stong was killed at the Boulder King Soopers yesterday,” Laura Cole Spice wrote, adding that her son was “crushed.”
Stong’s social media profiles also contained numerous photos of planes and remote-controlled helicopters.
“Went for a training flight today, flew over the RC model field,” he wrote on a May 2020 post on Instagram.
In a post on his Facebook page earlier this month, he asked for donations to a nonprofit gun rights organization, National Foundation for Gun Rights.
“I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal,” he wrote on his page.
Police identified him Tuesday as being among 10 victims killed in the shooting.
Two other grocery store workers — Teri Leiker, 51, and Rikki Olds, 25 — also died in the attack.
Authorities said a 21-year-old man, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, has been arrested in connection to the deadly shooting.