BOULDER, Colo — Lynn Murray picked a home in South Boulder for the views.
She’d sit out on the patio, drink wine, smoke cigarettes and stare at the mountains.
She was a loving wife of 26 years. A caring mother. And one of 10 lives taken far too soon, earlier this week.
“My mom really was the most beautiful person I ever met," said Olivia Mackenzie, whose mom Lynn Murray, was shot at a Boulder King Soopers on Monday. “Most hardworking, most selfless, most beautiful, most creative, so fun-loving.”
Olivia described her mother as the kind of person who wanted the best for everyone.
“She never said anything bad about anybody," she said. "And she could. She could have. She just…she was just beyond us.”
Murray was born in Mentor, Ohio. She went to college in Athens, Ohio for a degree in photography. Her husband said she moved to New York City with $500 in her pocket.
Murray worked her way up in her field, at first working for a famous photographer in New York City, coordinating all the work in that studio. She would later go on to a career working at publications like Marie Claire and Conde Nast.
“She was beloved by people in that industry because she remained unaffected when surrounded by anyone and everyone who was anyone at that time,” John Mackenzie said. “She didn’t care. But she made you feel comfortable.”
She met her husband in 1991. The couple had two children, Olivia and Pierce. Over their 30 years together, he said he's never met anyone else like her.
"She could absorb what it was you were feeling in the most extraordinary way," he said. "And be a mirror and just reflect it back on to you, but in the kindest most gentle harmless way possible and it enamored people."
On Monday, John said Lynn left home to go shopping for the Instacart app. He said he knew his wife was inside when he heard about the active shooter and he began frantically trying to text her.
"I got a very uncomfortable feeling when there was no response," he remembered. "After five minutes of staring at the phone, I just lost it. I’d been reaching out to her. 'Lynn please give me a sign.' 'Lynn I love you.' 'Lynn please don’t go.' And nothing."
Olivia said she tried to deny the fact that her mother could have been a victim for as long as she could.
"I went through every scenario in my mind," she said. "I was like maybe mom knows grocery stores, she’s worked at Whole Foods. She probably ran into the freezer. She’s in the freezer, she probably dropped her phone, she freaks out she dropped her phone, she ran. I was begging her like, don’t you dare. I just didn’t want her to go."
Hours later the police would deliver the news they hoped they wouldn't hear.
Unable to face going home, John and Olivia Mackenzie went back to the King Soopers.
"Walked through the tape and went up to the gate and was looking at her car and I was just like, maybe her phone was shot," Olivia Mackenzie. "There’s got to be something, she can’t be really gone. As soon as we both walked up, a coroner’s car drove out of there. He said they’re removing them and I guess I didn’t know…I just kinda processed it. I was like they’re still in there. I didn’t know she was still in there. I’d been staring at the store for the past hour. We were standing there. So she passed us by and that’s something that means something."
"We were meant to be there to connect somehow," John Mackenzie said. "I just wanted to see her. We just wanted to see her. It was all she wanted us to see."
While John Mackenzie says that for now, the grief is too overwhelming, he is hoping to one day be able to move forward and even try to bring some good out of what happened.
"We can’t live in fear of it," he said. "We have to face it or none of this is ever going to change. I’m not going to live in fear of this anymore. I’m going to do something about it in my own way."
Among the victims of the shooting were a Boulder police officer who ran inside the store while everyone else was fleeing, a member of the fashion community who one day aspired to own her own boutique, a small business owner and three King Soopers employees.
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