BOULDER, Colo. — Officer Eric Talley was one of 10 people killed in a mass shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder Monday.
Talley was shot and killed after being first to arrive to the scene on Table Mesa Drive just after 2:30 p.m. Monday, according to Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold.
During a press conference Monday night, Herold tearfully called Talley's actions "heroic."
Talley joined the Boulder Police Department in 2010. Officer Talley's father, Homer Talley, said in a statement that his son joined the force when he was 40 years old.
Officer Talley had seven children. Talley's 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.
On Tuesday morning, Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said Talley was a "truly heroic public servant."
"We cannot never thank Officer Talley or his family enough for their sacrifice, but we will not forget it," Weaver said. "Many are alive today because of the actions of Eric Talley and other first responders and their bravery is a blessing to us all."
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said Talley was one of the many outstanding members of Boulder County's law enforcement.
"He died charging into the line of fire to save people who were simply trying to live their lives and go food shopping," he said.
Herold said Tuesday morning she had recently had Talley's entire family in her officer to give his son an award for saving a life. Talley had taught his whole family CPR and when one of his sons swallowed a quarter, another son performed CPR and saved his brother's life, she said.
"To have something like this happen so close to where you live and to know the fear in the community and to know that the officers sacrificed themselves — it's heartbreaking," she said.
She described Talley as a very kind man who loved the community.
"He's everything policing deserves and needs," she said. "He cared about this community, he cared about Boulder Police Department, and he cared about his family. And he was willing to die to protect others."
Donations can be made to the Boulder County Injured & Fallen Officer Fund, which benefits Boulder County law enforcement members who become seriously injured or killed in the line-of-duty, as well as surviving family members. A GoFundMe has also been created for the family.