The hero cop who was one of 10 people gunned down by a mass shooter at a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket Monday afternoon was identified by law enforcement officials as officer Eric Talley, a veteran cop and father of seven children.
Talley, who had served in the Boulder Police Department since 2010, was one of the first officers to respond to the shooting at a King Soopers store in the city, Police Chief Maris Herold said at a Monday night press briefing.
“He was, by all accounts, one of the outstanding officers at the Boulder Police Department and his life was cut far too short,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said at the briefing.
Talley’s father, Homer Talley, told Denver7 that his son was a father to seven children, with his youngest being 7 years old.
“He took his job as a police officer very seriously,” the father said. “He loved his kids and his family more than anything.”
His father added that when Talley became a police officer at the age of 40, he “was looking for a job to keep himself off of the front lines.
“He didn’t want to put his family through something like this and he believed in Jesus Christ,” Homer Talley told the news station.
The slain officer had served in “numerous roles” since joining the department, Herold said.
After the officer’s death, a police procession was held in his honor, with throngs of cops lining the street to salute an ambulance carrying his body.
The suspect in Monday’s rampage was taken into custody. None of the other nine victims were immediately identified.
“My heart goes out to the victims of this incident. And I’m grateful for the police officers that responded,” Herold said, at times choking up during the briefing.
“And I am so sorry about the loss of Officer Talley.”