BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – March 22 marks the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at King Soopers in Boulder. Ten people were killed, including Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley.
His colleagues want people to remember him for how he lived his life and his heroic actions that saved countless others.
Sgt. Adrian Drelles was Talley’s direct supervisor and was his friend for 10 years.
“The last year, without him here, has been hard in the sense that void is there and that will never be filled,” Drelles said.
Talley was one of the first on the scene when the shooting started, and he didn’t hesitate for a second. Drelles said in his eulogy last March, “From the time Eric entered the store and confronted the suspect, no other civilian was hurt. Eric died a hero, giving his all to save others. He did not die in vain.”
He said Talley was a people pleaser, who liked to fix problems. He was enthusiastic and optimistic.
“He was caring, he could be a mentor, nurturing person. On the other side, he could be the biggest goofball prankster ever, always playing practical jokes,” Drelles said.
He says his sacrifice has brought the department together and the community has embraced them.
“Just don’t forget about him. Don’t forget who he was. Don’t forget he was not just a uniform out there helping. He was a father, a son, a husband. He was a member of the community who gave his life trying to improve it,” Drelles said.
Thinking back over the past 12 months has reminded officers how fragile life is, how dangerous their job is, and how much they enjoy serving the community.
“I definitely take that extra step to say goodbye to my kids or my family when I walk out the door. To have a little more sympathy and empathy for what other people are doing in life. It has opened my eyes to other people’s struggles. When you actually feel a loss like that I think it allows you to relate to other people go through loss much better than any training you could ever go through. Personally, it’s hit me deep, but I’ve learned quite a bit from it,” Drelles said.