Friends & coworkers remember Olivia King, the woman killed in Kroger mass shooting

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — We’re learning more about Olivia King, the 70-year-old woman shot and killed in Thursday’s mass shooting at the Collierville Kroger.

King was very active in Collierville and loved her three sons.

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FOX13 spoke with two assistant principals at Collierville Elementary School who used to work with her.

They said King was part of their family. She was there for birthdays and holidays and loved giving gifts.

King retired in 2010 but wasn’t forgotten.

“I remember her always having a smile and loved to talk about her boys. Her family was her everything,” Sheree Perez said.

Olivia King made family a priority - both her real family and her work family.

Sheree Perez got to know King when she worked at Collierville Elementary as a financial secretary.

“She always had a smile for everybody, and she worked hard when she was here,” Perez said.

RELATED: Woman killed, 15 shot after gunman opens fire in Collierville Kroger

Debbie Snowden is another former co-worker who met King when she first started working in education at Crosswind Elementary in the 1990′s.

“Very kind, kind woman. Always giving, always. She would be one who would pick up something at the store, get birthday presents. She was just a very giving person. So it’s sad,” said Snowden.

She says King always went all out when celebrating birthdays, holidays, and weddings. She was even there for the hard times.

King experienced her own tragedy in 2005 when her husband died.

“When her husband passed, it was very traumatic for her because, for Olivia, her three boys and her husband were her family. That was her life,” Snowden said.

Now, her three sons have no mother or father.

MORE: Community leaders react to mass shooting at Collierville Kroger

King’s sons also went to school in the Collierville area. The two assistant principals said King retired in 2010, but they never forgot her. When they found out she was killed Thursday, they said it was unbearable.

Still, Snowden and Perez say they will focus on the happy times. The laughs at work, the gifts, and her smile.

“You are just shocked when you hear it’s someone you know. It’s just a traumatic situation,” said Snowden.

“Shocking, incredibly sad, heartbreaking. Incredible loss,” said Perez

When FOX13 spoke to King’s son Thursday, he said he believes she went to the Kroger after attending church.