Boulder, CO

Officer killed in Boulder mass shooting once told mom that waiting for backup was 'worse than death'

Claire Cleveland
Police car lights.Photo by Pixabay / Pexels

By Claire Cleveland / NewsBreak

(Boulder, CO.) The mother of fallen Police Officer Eric Talley who was among 10 who died in a mass shooting at the Table Mesa King Soopers last year said she talked with her son about the possibility of him responding to such a scene.

During a ceremony to commemorate the renaming of Boulder’s main post office to the Officer Eric H. Talley Post Office Building on Thursday, Judy Talley said her son insisted that he would act swiftly in the event of a mass tragedy.

“I said, 'Well, Eric, you'd call for backup,.' and he said, 'No, mom, I would not call for backup,'” she said. “Of course, as his mother, I acted like a crazy person and started going, 'Eric, Eric, Eric' and he said, 'No, mom, mom, there are things worse than death. And for me, that would be standing there waiting for backup while people were dying. I couldn't live with myself.’"

Members of the community and Talley’s family attended the dedication of the historic building at 1905 15th Street in Boulder on Thursday.

"Officer Eric Talley is a true American hero,” said Congressman Joe Neguse, who introduced legislation to rename the post office, at the dedication ceremony on Thursday. “He gave his life protecting others, and his service and his sacrifice for the Boulder community will not soon be forgotten,"

In addition to Neguse, Gov. Jared Polis, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold, Assistant Postal Inspector in Charge Steve Hodges and USPS Colorado/Wyoming District Manager Jason McHahill were also at the dedication.

Ten people died in the shooting, including Talley, 40; Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; police Officer Eric Talley, 51; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; and Jodi Waters, 65

The shooter was arrested, but the 22-year-old suspect is mentally unfit to stand trial.

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Claire Cleveland is a Denver-based freelance writer with a background in health and science reporting. She's covered the pandemic extensively and local news in Colorado. Previously, Claire was a reporter and producer for Colorado Public Radio.

Denver, CO

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