Eric Talley quit a stable job in IT to serve the people. He got killed over a decade after he joined the police force.
On Monday, March 22, a 51-year-old officer Eric Talley was gunned down as he attempted to save people during an active shooting incident at a grocery store in Boulder Colorado. Talley was the first officer to respond to a police call relating to an armed man in Kings Soopers grocery store. And, now people who knew him best are coming together to remember the beloved friend and a devoted father of seven. "He loved his kids and his family more than anything," Homer Talley, the slain officer's dad told ABC News. "He didn't want to put his family through something like this." His death comes as a major blow to the family, especially considering he was training to become a drone operator in hopes of moving away from the front lines, the father said, adding that he had joined the force when he was 40 after quitting a career in IT.
Eric Talley died a hero.— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) March 23, 2021
When others ran for safety, he ran towards the violence.
Our police are always willing to put their lives on the line for us & we should always thank every officer we see for their service.
May God comfort his family & heal their broken hearts. pic.twitter.com/19WuDZkMLy
Twitter user Roozersmom, who claimed to be the officer's sister, wrote an emotional message on the platform that said: "Officer Eric Talley is my big brother. He died today in the Boulder shooting. My heart is broken. I cannot explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many. Fly high, my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn color blindness). Soar." Maris Herold, Boulder Police Chief, added that Talley joined the police force because he had a "higher calling". In a statement, according to Daily Mail, an emotional Herold said: "He was a very kind man who didn't have to go into policing. He had a profession before this. He had a higher calling. He's everything policing needs and deserves. He was willing to die to protect others."
Officer Eric Talley is my big brother. He died today in the Boulder shooting. My heart is broken. I cannot explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many. Fly high my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn color blindness). Soar. pic.twitter.com/tgt2DxPsqz— Kirstin (@Roozersmom) March 23, 2021
Herold shared that she had Talley and his family at the precinct just two weeks ago and said: "I feel numb. It's heartbreaking to talk to victims, their families. It is tragic. This officer had seven children. I had his whole family in my office two weeks ago to give him an award." Talley worked in the IT sector and had a stable job until 2010 when he decided to quit after a close friend died of a DUI. Speaking to The Washington Post, Jeremy Herko, Talley's friend from the academy days was all praises for the slain officer. "He was pretty driven to join law enforcement. That was his life. He absolutely loved his job and wanted to serve the community. It was remarkable to me that somebody would go to law enforcement from IT. He lost pay. He lost time away from his family. He joined the police academy without a guaranteed job."
In another tribute on social media per DailyMail, Herko added: "'He was a devout Christian. He had to buy a 15-passenger van to haul all his kids around, and he was the nicest guy in the world." According to CNN, the man who shot up the grocery store is a 21-year-old named Ahmad Al Alivi Alissa from the Arvada suburb in Denver. As many as 10 people are said to have been killed in the incident including Talley, store workers, and shoppers while several others managed to escape to safety. The age of the victims are said to be between 20 to 65 and the victims are as follows: Talley, 51; store manager Rikki Olds, 25; store employee Denny Stong, 20; store employee Teri Leiker, 51; Neven Stanisic, 23; Tralona "Lonna" Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jody Waters, 65.
Chief: Our hearts go out to all families impacted. There are 10 fatalities. She identified slain Police Officer Eric Talley, who was one of the first on the scene. She calls officer's actions "heroic."— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) March 23, 2021
The store owner, from whom Alissa bought the Ruger AR-556 used in the incident, was shocked by the news and said the shooter passed all background checks before buying the gun. "We are absolutely shocked by what happened and our hearts are broken for the victims and families that are left behind," John Mark Eagleton, the owner of Eagles Nest Armory in Arvada, said in a statement obtained by CNN.
To Officer Eric Talley and the nine other souls the Boulder shooter took today, and to all the victims’ families, let us offer not just our grief but our anger and our commitment to do all we can to get firearms suited to mass slaughter off our streets https://t.co/4pY4W2gXl1— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) March 23, 2021