Boulder tragedy inspires future police officer

Local News

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — The King Soopers mass shooting that took the life of Officer Eric Talley has inspired at least one young man to pursue a career in law enforcement.  

Talley was killed when he ran into the grocery store during the gunfire, saving dozens of innocent lives. He continues to have an impact on this community.  

Sam Dunbar, 19, was close to finishing real estate school and getting his license, but he put that on hold and decided to pursue a career in law enforcement instead.

“Hearing about Officer Talley passing was a wake up call. I was inspired and very ready to go out and get started on the right path I think,” Dunbar said. “Watching the procession and driving a couple miles and still seeing it is like and inspiration, like a calling for me.” 

Dunbar admires Talley’s courage and wants to help fulfill his legacy of serving the community. “I’’m hoping if I ever come to that point, I would make the same decisions he did.” 

Dunbar’s mother shared this moving story on Boulder Police Department’s Facebook page. “I really wanted the police department to know Eric’s death inspired my son. I wanted them to be uplifted somewhat that there was something positive that came out of his death,” Joanne Gelles said. 

She said he has always had a strong sense of right from wrong and strives to help people around him be better. “I’m extremely proud of him. I think I’ve known and we’ve had many conversations that he’s always had that sense, that calling there’s something bigger he was put on this earth to do,” Gelles said. 

Dunbar knows it is a difficult and dangerous career, but said he is up to the challenge.  

“I really hope to just honor the ones who have served a long time. I’ve always had a passion to help other people so that’s probably what I look forward to is helping the community I serve in,” Dunbar said.

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