The family of slain police officer Eric Talley spoke out about his death at the mass shooting in Boulder Monday.
Talley, 51, was the first officer to respond to 911 calls about an active shooter inside of a Boulder grocery store, CNN reported. His actions were called “heroic” by officials on the scene. Talley’s father, Homer Talley, told ABC the officer took his job “very seriously.”
“He took his job as a police officer very seriously,” Talley’s father said in the statement, the outlet reported. “He had seven children. The youngest is 7 years old. He loved his kids and his family more than anything. He joined the police force when he was 40 years old. 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.”
Talley was one of 10 victims killed during a shooting at a King Soopers grocery store around 2:30 p.m. Monday. The shooting suspect has been identified as 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, according to The Washington Post. The police officer had been part of the department since 2010, as previously reported. (RELATED: Video Shows Boulder Shooting Suspect Cuffed And Marched To Stretcher, Bleeding And Shirtless)
Talley’s sister called the loss “devastating” in a tweet shared Tuesday.
Officer Eric Talley is my big brother. He died today in the Boulder shooting. My heart is broken. I cannot explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many. Fly high my sweet brother. You always wanted to be a pilot (damn color blindness). Soar. pic.twitter.com/tgt2DxPsqz
— Kirstin (@Roozersmom) March 23, 2021
The Boulder Police Department also shared its own tribute on Twitter.
— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) March 23, 2021
“Rest In peace Officer Eric Talley,” the department wrote. “Your service will never be forgotten.”