HOUSTON – The Boulder, Colorado, police officer who was killed while responding to a shooter at a grocery store was born in Houston, family members confirmed.
Eric Talley was born in Houston in 1969, according to his stepmother. It’s not clear if he grew up in Houston or what hospital he was born in.
Officer Eric Talley was killed heroically responding to the #BoulderShooting on Monday. His police vehicle is parked outside the @boulderpolice station at 1805 33rd St. in memory of Eric and his service. pic.twitter.com/7Cr2xNGcFR— City of Boulder (@bouldercolorado) March 23, 2021
Talley joined the police force in Boulder in 2010 with a background that included a master’s degree in computer communications, his father said.
“At age 40, he decided he wanted to serve his community,” Homer “Shay” Talley, 74, said from his ranch in central Texas. “He left his desk job. He just wanted to serve, and that’s what he did. He just enjoyed the police family.”
Officer Talley was the first to arrive after a call about shots being fired and someone carrying a rifle, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said Talley was “by all accounts, one of the outstanding officers” in the department.
With seven children, ages 7 to 20, Talley was a devoted father who “knew the Lord,” his father said.
“When everyone else in the parking lot was running away, he ran toward it,” Shay Talley said.
“We know where he is,” he added. “He loved his family more than anything. He wasn’t afraid of dying. He was afraid of putting them through it.”
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said Talley was an “American hero” who “was willing to die to protect others.” He added that the officer’s actions were nothing short of heroic.
“When the moment to act came, Officer Talley did not hesitate in his duty, making the ultimate sacrifice in his effort to save lives,” Biden said from the White House. “That’s the definition of an American hero.”
The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report.