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Officer Eric Talley, Father and ‘Devout Christian,’ One of 10 Killed in Boulder Shooting

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A mass shooting Monday in Boulder, Colo., has left 10 people dead, including 51-year-old police officer Eric Talley. Talley was a husband, a father of seven, and a devoted follower of Jesus

“He took his job as a police officer very seriously,” said Eric Talley’s father, Homer, in a statement released to the media. “He had seven children. The youngest is seven years old. He loved his kids and his family more than anything…and he believed in Jesus Christ.”

Talley had been in the police force for 11 years and was in the process of pursuing a less dangerous job. Said his father, “He was looking for a job to keep himself off the front lines and was learning to be a drone operator. He didn’t want to put his family through something like this.”

Officer Eric Talley Was ‘Nothing Short of Heroic’

At 2:40 p.m. on March 22, Boulder police responded to a call about an active shooter at the King Soopers grocery store on Table Mesa Drive. Minutes later, officers arrived and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who has been identified as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Arvada, Colo. 

Alissa was injured in the exchange and was taken into custody at 3:28 p.m., after which he was treated and held in stable condition in a hospital, said Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold in a press conference Tuesday morning. Alissa has since been booked in the Boulder County Jail and has been charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree. 

The motive of the suspect is currently unknown, and state, local, and federal authorities will be conducting a “thorough investigation,” said Herold. “Our hearts go out to all the victims killed during this senseless act of violence.”

The names and ages of the people killed in Monday’s shooting are as follows:

-Denny Stong, 20
-Neven Stanisic, 23
-Rikki Olds, 25
-Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
-Suzanne Fountain, 59
-Teri Leiker, 51
-Eric Talley, 51
-Kevin Mahoney, 61
-Lynn Murray, 62
-Jody Waters, 65

Officer Eric Talley was the first to arrive at the scene, said Herold, who described his actions as “nothing short of heroic.” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said, “He died charging into the line of fire trying to save people who were simply trying to live their lives and go food shopping.”

Jeremy Herko, who described himself as a friend of Talley’s, said in a Facebook post that has since been removed,

I cannot describe my level of devastation I feel right now. My heart is heavy. So many things I would do differently. The person I was calling and messaging earlier, one of my best friends, died today in Boulder. He was the police officer killed. Eric Talley is his name, and 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. I’ve known him since we went to the academy together, and we talked all the time. Please keep his wife and kids in your thoughts.