Boulder, CO – Donors have turned out in droves to show their support for the family of slain Boulder Police Department (BPD) Officer Eric Talley.
Officer Talley was one of 10 people killed during a mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder on March 22.
The 11-year department veteran leaves behind his wife and seven children, who range in age from seven to 20.
A GoFundMe campaign organized in the wake of the 51-year-old officer’s murder has raised more than $830,000 so far.
“Thank you Officer Talley for serving your community. Your loss is horrible,” one contributor wrote on the fundraising page. “We will take care of your family!!”
“As the wife of a retired NYPD police officer, I can only imagine the heartbreak of this family,” another donor’s message read. “May you rest in peace Eric Talley. You are one of the very finest.”
A variety of additional fundraisers have also been established to help the families of the shooting victims.
“This week several Boulder Police officers & others responded to a local hospital to formally place Monday’s shooting suspect into custody,” the department said. “As they did, officers informed him the handcuffs used that day were those of Officer Eric Talley.”
“It was our distinct honor to use Officer Talley’s handcuffs to formally process him into the jail,” the BPD added. “Though this was a small gesture, we hope it is the start of the healing process that so many of us need at this time.”
The BPD included a photo of Officer Talley’s handcuffs along with the Twitter announcement.
This week several Boulder Police officers & others responded to a local hospital to formally place Monday’s shooting suspect into custody. As they did, officers informed him the handcuffs used that day were those of Officer Eric Talley. The suspect was then taken to jail 1/2 pic.twitter.com/fSjuw0hr6G
— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) March 25, 2021
Officer Talley was the first to arrive at the scene after the BPD received a report of shots fired and someone carrying a rifle at the King Soopers store located at 3600 Mesa Drive on March 22, BPD Chief Maris Herold told reporters during a solemn news conference on Monday night.
He was fatally shot as he ran into the store to help the victims.
Chief Herold identified the remaining nine victims during a press conference Tuesday morning as 20-year-old Denny Stong, 23-year-old Neven Stanisic, 25-year-old Rikki Olds, 49-year-old Tralona Bartkowiak, 59-year-old Suzanne Fountain, 51-year-old Teri Leiker, 61-year-old Kevin Mahoney, 62-year-old Lynn Murray, and 65-year-old Jody Waters.
The 21-year-old gunman has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, FOX News reported.
The shooter was carrying Ruger AR-556 pistol and wearing a green tactical vest when he opened fire inside the store at approximately 2:30 p.m. on March 22, the New York Daily News reported.
According to the five-page affidavit, witnesses said the attacker shot multiple people in the parking lot before heading into the supermarket, FOX News reported.
“Employees observed the suspect shoot an elderly man in the parking lot. The suspect then walked up to the elderly man, stood over him and shot him multiple additional times,” the affidavit read, according to the New York Daily News.
Customers ran for cover as the suspect entered the store and started stalking shoppers in the refrigerated foods area, witnesses told police.
Officer Talley was shot in the head during a shootout with the gunman, according to the affidavit.
SWAT officers were able to use a ballistic shield to reach the officer and drag him out of the store during the gun battle, but he had already succumbed to his wounds, the New York Daily News reported.
The gunman, who received a “through-and-through” gunshot wound to his thigh during the shootout, allegedly stripped down to his shorts before surrendering to police, according to court documents.
“The suspect did not answer questions, though he asked to speak to his mother,” police said in the filing, according to the New York Daily News.
Investigators said the gunman purchased the Ruger AR-556 pistol on March 16, according to court documents.
Police recovered a tactical vest, a shirt, and a semi-automatic handgun at the scene of the grocery store massacre, FOX News reported.
A senior law enforcement source told CNN that the weapon used in the mass shooting was an AR-15-style pistol equipped with an arm brace.
Investigators are still working to determine a motive for the attack.
According to the gunman’s since-deleted Facebook page, he said he was born in Syria in 1999, and that he moved to the U.S. in 2002, the Daily Beast reported.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said during a press conference Tuesday that the gunman “has lived most of his life in the United States.”