BOULDER, Colo. — Judy Talley says her son, the Boulder police officer killed in Monday’s mass shooting at King Soopers, decided to get into law enforcement after his friend was killed by a drunk driver.
“He wanted to protect and serve,” said Judy Talley of her son Eric Talley.
Judy says Eric was also a deeply devoted husband and father.
“He had seven children,” Judy Talley said. “Seven beautiful children – ranging in the ages from 7 to 20. He was a strong Catholic of deep faith. He loved his wife.”
In Boulder Tuesday, we watched as mourners came throughout the day with flowers, candles and cards for Officer Talley. Expressions of love from a community in pain.
“It just really doesn’t get any easier,” said Carol Canif, a Boulder 911 dispatcher. “It’s difficult every time you lose a brother in blue.”
“I’m just getting really tired of all of it,” said Canif’s friend and colleague, Dove Miller, also a Boulder 911 dispatcher. “There’s no reason for it.”
Officer Talley’s police unit is parked outside the front doors of the Boulder Police Department, now surrounded by candles, a mourner lighting 10 of them for each of the shooting victims including Officer Talley.
The front hood of the SUV is draped in flowers and is now a gathering place for the community to pay their respects.
“He really cared about students. I think it’s kind of a prerequisite for officers in Boulder to be aware of the university and really care about students,” said Molly Frommelt, co-student body president at CU Boulder.
Frommelt knew Officer Talley personally, working with him on campus and community issues.
“Students feel safe knowing that officers like Officer Talley are willing to be there,” Frommelt said. “And willing to put themselves on the front line.”
“You think of, I mean, every officer who has died in the line,” Miller said.
“I guess the biggest thing for me is, even if we’re not in their department, we’re all – in a way – one big family,” Canif said.
Six-year-old Jackson and his family came out to show their support.
“I love police,” Jackson said. “Because they save people.”
A community and a state rocked by senseless violence yet again, coming together in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
“We want them to know that they’re loved,” Miller said. “That we value them. They matter. What they do matters.”