A gunman open fired at a grocery store in Colorado on Monday, killing 10 people, including a police officer as disturbing footage showed a handcuffed man covered in blood and injured shoppers lying inside and outside the supermarket. Among those shot dead was Eric Talley, a 51-year-old cop who fought till his last breath to save the helpless customers without caring for his life.
The officer's actions have been described as "heroic" by Boulder Chief Maris Herold, who said that Talley was the first on the scene when he was fatally shot. The martyred cop had been with the Boulder Police Department since 2010 and will be remembered forever for the sacrifice he made.
Dying Like a Hero
Talley was the first officer on the scene at the grocery store at 3600 Table Mesa Drive, where he was fatally shot, Herold said in a news conference following the harrowing shooting. Although few details about Talley were released by his department, he was described as having acted with restraint during a sensitive call years earlier, according to the City of Boulder's 2016 annual report.
On Monday night the 11-year veteran once again showed his heroics but this time he wasn't that lucky and had to sacrifice his life in the line of duty.
"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," Herold said.
Talley, a father of seven, is the sixth Boulder officer killed in the line of duty. The last Boulder officer killed in the line of duty was Officer Beth Haynes in 1994. Haynes, who was 26 at the time of her death, was responding to a domestic disturbance call.
Always an Officer
Several metro area law enforcement agencies held a procession following the shooting on Monday, and first responders mourned Talley's loss on Twitter. Talley was always a committed and diligent officer, his past records show.
"Our son suffers from mental, physical and developmental issues," a community member is quoted as saying about one of Talley's heroics according to the City of Boulder's 2016 annual report. "He was combative when Officer Talley arrived. Officer Talley acted calmly and professionally and helped keep our son safe, despite our son's aggressive behaviors. We are grateful for Officer Talley's understanding, patience, and professionalism."
Prior to that in 2013, Talley was one of three Boulder officers who rescued a family of ducklings and their mother from a drainage ditch in South Boulder in June 2013, according to a Boulder Daily Camera report. "Boulder police Officer Eric Talley waded into the calf-deep water to try and round up the ducks himself," the article read.
As soon as the news of Talley's death made its way to social media, tributes started pouring in. 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."
"Officer Eric Talley was a great police officer. He shut down an antisemitic woman and brought peace. RIP Officer Talley. You will be missed!" wrote another user.