MUNCIE, Ind.– Ball State University confirmed Tuesday that the officer killed in the shooting at a Colorado supermarket that left 10 people dead graduated from the school.
Officer Eric Talley was a student at BSU from the spring of 1997 to the spring of 2004. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Information Communication Sciences.
Talley was the first to arrive on scene Monday and died after a shootout with the suspect. He had been a member of the department since 2010.
The BSU Center for Information and Communication Sciences issued this statement:
Please join us in mourning the loss of a CICS alum gone too soon and leaving behind a family who is forever changed. Our hearts ache for those who he left behind. As a first responder in Boulder yesterday, Officer Talley is rightfully being called a hero, we echo that completely and mourn this tragic loss deeply.
“For years, Eric Talley had a stable job in information technology that provided for his children and his wife, who educated their seven children in their Colorado home.
But in 2010, after one of his closest friends died in a DUI crash, he quit, left behind his master’s degree and enrolled in the police academy at 40 years old, according to his friends and family.
“It was remarkable to me that somebody would go to law enforcement from IT,” Jeremy Herko, who is now a lieutenant with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, told The Washington Post. “He lost pay. He lost time away from his family. He joined the police academy without a guaranteed job.”
The Boulder Police Department announced Tuesday that the suspect is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder in the mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store.
Police also identified the nine other victims, who ranged in age from 20 to 65.
Officers were initially called to the King Soopers store Monday over reports of a man shot in his vehicle. When officers arrived the suspect began shooting at them, police said.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said the suspect was undergoing treatment at a hospital, and was expected to be booked into the county jail later Tuesday.
Investigators don’t know yet why the suspect opened fire inside the grocery store, Dougherty said. He said the investigation is in the early stages.