Slain Boulder officer Eric Talley’s mother honored in Pueblo at state patrol’s request

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Firefighters unfurled a flag on the overpass, and officers saluted as the family passed through the city of Pueblo on Saturday, March 27.

Anyone traveling along Interstate 25 at about 11:15 a.m. Saturday in Pueblo may have felt like the red carpet had been rolled out specifically for them.

However, members of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, the Pueblo Police Department and the Pueblo Fire Department were there to honor the family of a brother in blue killed in action last week in Boulder.

Officer Eric Talley was shot and killed while responding to the March 22 King Soopers mass shooting, in which nine other individuals were killed.

A memorial service for Talley is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, and will be livestreamed through the church it will be held at, Flatirons Community Church

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The Colorado State Highway Patrol escorted Talley’s mother from New Mexico to Boulder ahead of her son’s funeral, and asked for first responder presence along the way. In response, Pueblo-area first responders turned out to show their support for her and what her son sacrificed for others.

Pueblo police and firefighters gathered in two places — the overpass of Pueblo Boulevard and the overpass of Dillon Drive, as a sort of entrance and exit to the city. Pueblo sheriff’s deputies gathered at exit 108 on I-25 for the makeshift memorial.

Each of the city’s overpasses had a first-responder presence from other departments as well, including West Park Fire Department, Pueblo West Fire Department and American Medical Response, Inc.

“We all work as one team to serve the public’s safety interests,” Pueblo Fire Chief Barb Huber said. “Of course, any loss of a team member strikes us at our core. To be able to show solidarity and compassion to the family of the fallen officer is an honor that we take very seriously. Our hearts go out to the Boulder Police Department and the entire Talley family.”

The departments worked together to ensure the memorial could happen safely, with no danger to citizens that may be calling for an emergency. All of the first response departments’ vehicles and personnel were on first-call status during the short event.

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Departments farther north continued the memorial, stretching through Colorado Springs and north into the Denver metro area.

Talley is credited with saving further loss of life in the Boulder shooting. Officials said the officer ran toward gunfire and was the last of the victims to be shot.

“He died charging into the line of fire to save people who were simply trying to live their lives and go food shopping,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said. 

Talley’s body was transported from the Boulder County coroner’s office in Boulder County to a funeral home in Aurora on Wednesday. Hundreds turned out to line the streets and watch the procession.

Chieftain reporter Heather Willard can be reached via email hwillard@chieftain.com or on Twitter: @HeatherDWrites.