One of the ten people killed in yesterday’s horrific mass shooting at a Colorado grocery store was not only a Boulder police officer, but also a deeply committed Christian, husband, and father of seven children whom he homeschooled with his wife. Because of the evil actions of a crazed gunman, the world has at least one more widow and seven broken-hearted, fatherless children.

Officer Eric Talley, age 51, was one of the first officers through the door of the grocery store and sustained a fatal shot from the shooter, along with nine other citizens of the small Colorado town.

Jeremy Herko, a close family friend of Talley’s and a lieutenant with the local County Sherriff’s Office, explained that Talley “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.” The Wall Street Journal reported that Homer Talley, the slain officer’s father, said “Above all else he loved his family and his Lord Jesus Christ.”

Herko said he last spoke to Talley this past Sunday. He had sent Talley a picture of his family playing a board game that he’d recently recommended. Immediately after learning of the shooting yesterday, Herko said he texted Talley to make sure he was okay.

“But of course, he did not respond,” Herko explained. He had gone to his Savior.

Officer Talley’s teenage son recently received a personal commendation from the Boulder Police Chief for saving his own brother’s life.

Prior to entering the police academy just over ten years ago, Officer Talley had a well-paying job in the IT industry. He made a major career change when one of his closest buddies was killed in an accident with a drunk driver. Talley said he wanted to work in public safety.

Officer Talley was deeply respected in his community and by his colleagues who worked for the city. Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver called Talley a “truly heroic public servant” who “joins the ranks of six other Boulder police officers who have laid down their lives for the people of our city.”

Outside the grocery store where the shooting occurred, a procession of police cars escorted the ambulance on Monday evening carrying Talley’s body from the place he fatally fell, running to protect others, as officers and first responders stood along the road in somber silence, saluting and holding an American flag.              


The names and ages of the other nine victims who were killed alongside Office Talley are:

Denny Strong, 20

Neven Stanisic, 23

Rikki Olds, 25

Tralona Bartkowiak, 49

Suzanne Fountain, 59

Teri Leiker, 51

Kevin Mahoney, 61

Lynn Murray, 62

Jody Waters, 65

Focus on the Family is lifting Officer Talley’s widow and his seven dear children up in our prayers, along with the remaining devastated families of all the victims.

Photo from Boulder Police Department