Police officer Eric Talley was the first to respond when a gunman opened fire at a Boulder, Colorado supermarket on Monday afternoon. The 51-year-old father of seven was one of 10 people killed in the mass shooting.
Talley rushed to the scene of a King Soopers supermarket around 2:30 p.m. and was fatally shot, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said during a news conference. The 51-year-old had been with the department since 2010, serving in numerous roles.
Herold called his quick response at the scene “heroic.”
“I’m grateful for the police officers that responded, and I am so sorry about the loss of Officer Talley,” she said, holding back tears.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said Talley’s life was “cut much too short,” and said a “painstaking investigation is already underway.”
He described Talley as “one of the outstanding officers of the Boulder Police Department.”
No other victims of the shooting have been identified. One person was taken into custody at the scene and the investigation is ongoing.
Rest In peace Officer Eric Talley. Your service will never be forgotten #BoulderShooting pic.twitter.com/FVximvhS2E
Talley’s father, Homer Talley, told Denver7 News that the fallen officer leaves behind seven children, the youngest of whom is seven years old.
“He loved his kids and his family more than anything,” Talley’s father said in a statement. “He was looking for a job to keep himself off of the front lines and was learning to be a drone operator. He didn’t want to put his family through something like this.”
Eric Talley’s sister Kirstin took to Twitter on Monday night to express her profound grief.
“Officer Eric Talley is my big brother. He died today in the Boulder shooting,” she tweeted. “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.”
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
Governor Jared Polis expressed his grief in a statement, saying that Talley lost his life “working to save the lives of others. ”
He called the shooting “devastating” and “senseless.”
Dozens of law enforcement agencies congregated for a procession of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances to honor Talley on Monday night, near the intersection of the shooting.
WATCH: A procession of police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances was held Monday evening in Colorado to honor a fallen police officer who was killed responding to the shooting at a Boulder supermarket that left at least 10 dead. pic.twitter.com/4HgOEB2wgI
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