Boulder Store shooting: Who was Eric Talley? 'Heroic' Colorado cop, 51, 'ran toward danger to save lives'
A gunman started firing inside a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado on Monday, March 22 afternoon, killing 10 people, including a police officer, and sending shoppers fleeing for their lives. The officer was identified as 51-year-old Officer Eric Talley, one of the first on the scene. Talley has been a member of the department since 2010. He was called to the scene with fellow officers at about 2:30 p.m. at 3600 Table Mesa Drive and fatally wounded.
Talley's father, Homer Talley, said in a statement that her son joined the force when he was 40 years old. The deceased officer had seven children. The youngest was 7 years old, and his father said "he loved his kids and family more than anything.""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 and he believed in Jesus Christ,” the statement from Homer Talley says.
The Boulder police department held a press conference where Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said: "Our hearts of this community go out to the victims of this horrific incident. We know of 10 fatalities at the scene, including one of our Boulder PD officers by the name of Eric Talley. He’s been on the Boulder Police Department since 2010. He’s served in numerous roles supporting Boulder Police Department and the community of Boulder. And I have to tell you, the heroic action of this officer when he responded to this scene. At 14:30 hours the Boulder Police Department began receiving phone calls of shots fired in the area. And a phone call about a possible person with a patrol rifle. Officer Talley responded to the scene, was the first on the scene and he was fatally shot. I also want to commend the heroic actions of the officers responding, not only from Boulder PD, but from across the county and other parts of this region. Police officers' actions fell nothing short of being heroic. I also want to thank the men and women who responded, including state, local and federal authorities."
She said it’s a “complex investigation” that will take “no less than five days to complete.” Herold, holding back tears, said, “Again, my heart goes out to the victims of this incident. And I’m grateful for the police officers who responded and I am so sorry about the loss of Officer Talley.”
The news of Talley's death was first confirmed by Boulder Police Department Commander Kerry Yamaguchi. He said there was “loss of life” and added, “I am sorry to have to report that one of them was a Boulder police officer.” He did not release the officer’s name at the time. He stated that officers reported, “within minutes of the initial 911 calls and entered the building very quickly.”
Talley brought an initiative to the police department with community-based policing, the Martin Acres Voice wrote in 2015. The initiative was geared toward officers becoming a familiar face in their communities. Talley was among three officers who were recognized by the Daily Camera for saving 11 ducklings and their mother from a drainage ditch in 2013. The drainage ditch was in the area of Table Mesa and Broadway, very close to the location where Talley was gunned down on March 22, 2021.
As soon as the news of Talley's death made its way to social media, people started paying tribute to him. Chicago Police Superitendent David O Brown said: "On behalf of the #ChicagoPolice Department, I extend my deepest condolences & prayers to the families of the 10 people killed in Boulder, including a brave @boulderpolice officer. Officer Eric Talley died a hero, running toward danger to save lives." While another one wrote: "Officer Eric Talley was a great police officer. He shut down an antisemitic woman and brought peace. RIP Officer Talley. You will be missed!"
On behalf of the #ChicagoPolice Department, I extend my deepest condolences & prayers to the families of the 10 people killed in Boulder, including a brave @boulderpolice officer. Officer Eric Talley died a hero, running toward danger to save lives. https://t.co/zwwuJmogL8— Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) March 23, 2021
Officer Eric Talley was a great police officer. He shut down an antisemitic woman and brought peace. RIP Officer Talley. You will be missed!— Vote Blue 2022 (@ReneeEskenazi) March 23, 2021
One person tweeted: "“Boulder Officer [Eric Talley] has lost his life running towards the gunfire of an active shooter. No words can adequately capture the heroism exhibited. Keep him in your prayers. #OfficerDown." Sharing his picture, another one wrote: "RIP Officer Eric Talley + 9 other victims of the Boulder, CO shootings. Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough... we need change."
“Boulder Officer [Eric Talley] has lost his life running towards the gunfire of an active shooter. No words can adequately capture the heroism exhibited. Keep him in your prayers.#OfficerDown— PatrolSpecialist (@PatrolSpeciali1) March 23, 2021
RIP Officer Eric Talley + 9 other victims of the Boulder, CO shootings. Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough... we need change. pic.twitter.com/70FTPgdIuY— Meghan Grey (@meghan_grey) March 23, 2021