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Officer Eric Talley.

Slain Boulder Police Officer Talley was a dedicated Christian dad to seven

One of the ten people killed in the mass shooting at a Colorado grocery store was not only a Boulder police officer, but also a deeply committed Christian. Fifty-one-year-old Officer Eric Talley was also a father of seven children whom he homeschooled with his wife.

Alleged Boulder supermarket gunman Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, who was shot in the leg, is hospitalized in stable condition.
City of Boulder/Handout

Talley, along with nine others, was killed by Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a Syrian refugee who expressed hatred on his social media towards President Trump and complained about his treatment as a Muslim in America. He also regularly posted links to stories from the New York Times, NPR and other media outlets that were critical of Republicans. Alissa’s now-deleted Facebook page said he was “born in Syria in 1999 came to the USA in 2002,” the Daily Beast reported.

But as talk of motives continues, grief over those slain grows.

Talley 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

“I want to say to the community, I am so sorry this incident happened,” Boulder Police Chief Maris Harold said with tears in her eyes. “We are going to do everything in our power to make sure this suspect has a thorough trial and we do a thorough investigation.”

Doughtery said Officer Talley “died heroically.”

“He died charging into the line of fire to save people who were simply trying to live their lives and go food shopping,” he said. “And the man who gunned them down will be held fully responsible.

READ: Police officer shot during protest


As big cities move to defund police officers around the nation, the career remains perhaps the most dangerous in the country. In 2020, 358 police officers died from all causes, including Covid. As protests and violence erupted across the country, 45 police offices were shot and killed last year, 1 died by physical assault, and 13 died of vehicular assault. Of those deaths, 331 were male and 27 female.

Total Deaths by State

Photo from Boulder Police Department

–Wire services