(CNN) — Agent Eric Talley was the first to respond to reports of a gunman inside a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday. Talley, who was the father of seven children, died after actions officials described as “heroic.”
The member of the Boulder Police Department was one of 10 people killed when a gunman opened fire at the King Soopers store. Authorities have not released the names of the other victims.
Talley, 51, had been a member of the corporation since 2010, according to Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold.
“I was not surprised that he was the first to arrive,” said Talley’s father, Homer Talley, to KUSA, CNN affiliate network.
Talley leaves behind his wife and seven children, the oldest of whom is 20 years old, according to his father.
“He loved his family more than anything,” said Homer Talley.
Talley Sr. said his son was a joker with a “great sense of humor,” the affiliate reported.
In 2013, Talley was among a small group of Boulder officers who made headlines after rescuing a duckling from a drainage ditch. The agent had “gotten into the water up to his calves to try to surround the ducks” and save them, reported the Daily Camera newspaper and Boulder.
Talley is the first Boulder Police Department officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1994 and the sixth on-duty death in the department’s history, according to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund.
According to KUSA, Homer Talley said his son had recently been considering becoming a drone operator because he believed it was safer.
Agent Eric Talley was the first to arrive at the crime scene
Talley arrived on the scene minutes after the first 911 calls came in reporting gunshots around 2:30 p.m. local time, Herold said Monday night.
“I have to tell you about the heroic action of this officer when he arrived at the scene,” said the police chief, adding that Talley responded after “a phone call about a possible person with a surveillance rifle.”
“Agent Talley arrived on the scene, was the first to arrive and was fatally shot,” Herold said.
The downed officer “served in numerous roles in support of the Boulder Police Department and the Boulder community,” the police chief told reporters.
He was remembered as “one of the prominent officers” by the county district attorney.
“My heart goes out to Eric Talley’s family, loved ones and colleagues,” said Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty. “He was, by all accounts, one of the prominent officers of the Boulder Police Department, and his life was too short as he responded to the shooting that was taking place in King Soopers.”
Several public safety agencies held a continuous vigil in Talley’s honor Monday night.
Local, state and federal authorities are working on the investigation of the shooting, along with prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office “to ensure that justice is served,” Dougherty told reporters.
“I promise the victims and the people of the state of Colorado, that we will ensure justice and do everything necessary to achieve justice in this case, for that to happen, a thorough investigation is already underway, both at the scene of the crime and in interviews to make sure we get all the accurate information, ”the district attorney said.
“For all the victims who were killed in King Soopers, they were people going about their day, buying food, and the shooter, who is now in custody, abruptly and tragically cut off their lives,” added Dougherty.
– CNN’s Joe Sutton and Whitney Wild contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism