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Colorado grocery shooting: Slain Boulder officer acted heroically, chief says

Police Officer Eric Talley, 51, had been on the force since 2010 and was a father of seven.
/ Source: NBC News

The Boulder, Colorado, police officer killed while responding to a shooter at a grocery store was the first officer on the scene Monday afternoon after reports of gunfire, the police chief said.

Officer Eric Talley, 51, was among the 10 people killed in the shooting at the King Soopers. Boulder police chief Maris Herold identified the other victims as Denny Strong, 20, Neven Stanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, and Jody Waters, 65.

Calls came into the police department around 2:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. ET), about shots in the area and "a possible person with a patrol rifle," Herold said.

She called Talley's actions heroic and praised as heroic the actions of the law enforcement officers from many agencies who responded to Monday's mass shooting.

Tally has been with the Boulder Police Department since 2010.

Homer Talley said his son took his job as a police officer very seriously.

Eric Talley had seven children and the youngest is 7 years old, his father said. "He loved his kids and his family more than anything," he said.

“He was by all accounts one of the outstanding officers of the Boulder Police Department, and his life was cut far too short,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said.

A suspected gunman, who was injured, was in custody Monday night. Officials identified him as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, who was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder in connection with Monday's mass shooting, NBC News reported.

No motive, if one is known, has been disclosed.

Herold said the investigation was complex and would take no less than five days to complete.

"Our hearts of this community go out to the victims of this horrific incident," Herold said.

Shock and grief were expressed by people across the nation Monday.

"These were people going about their day, doing their food shopping, and their lives were cut abruptly and tragically short by the shooter who is now in custody," Dougherty said.

Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement that he was grieving along with the entire state. He said Talley lost his life while working to save the lives of others and called the killings senseless.

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., said the state was once again in mourning. There have been several mass shootings in the state, including in 1999 at Columbine High School and in 2012 at an Aurora movie theater.

“Our state grieves tonight as we mourn ten more Coloradans senselessly killed by gun violence — including police officer Eric Talley," Hickenlooper said. "Our thoughts are with the victims' loved ones, and we are grateful to the frontline workers and first responders whose bravery saved lives."

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