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BOULDER, Colo. — One day after Boulder police officer Eric Talley was shot and killed while responding to an active shooter, a professor at his alma mater is sharing fond memories.

Talley was in his 40s when he became a police officer. Before transitioning to law enforcement, he worked in the information technology industry thanks to his education at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

“It’s devastating,” Ball State professor Stephan Jones told NewsLink Indiana. “His integrity was exceptional.”

Jones educates students at Ball State’s Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS).

Talley received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Ball State. Talley became so fond of Jones that he named one of his seven children after him.

“I’ll probably start crying,” Jones said as he recalled a visit Talley made to the Muncie, Ind., campus. “He bent down to his son and said, ‘Stephan, this is the man that I named you after.’”

Jones said Talley was a devout Catholic and someone who always worked hard to provide for his family. He was a man who was not afraid to embrace his calling to serve later in life.

“For him to leave a six-figure job and go into law enforcement, [that] tells you a little bit about his character and what he wanted to do with his life,” Jones said.

The professor knows life will not be easy for Talley’s widow. Jones said he’s trying to help by lobbying the president of Ball State University to offer free tuition to the children of the fallen hero.