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1 year later, Boulder police chief reflects on King Soopers shooting

“It was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my career, and I’ve been doing this a long time," Chief Maris Herold said.

BOULDER, Colo. — It's been one year since 10 people were shot and killed at a King Soopers, and Boulder is still healing.

Police Chief Maris Herold had been on the job for less than a year when the shooting happened. One of the Boulder Police Department's officers, Eric Talley, was among the victims. He was the first officer to arrive on the scene.

A year later, Herold is focusing on the impact Talley made on his community.

“There is no doubt he is a hero and he saved lives, but I want people to remember Eric as a really good man,” she said.

Her department put a patrol car outside the police station last week to honor him and the sacrifice he made to save others. Talley was a husband, father of seven children, and a beloved friend.

“He was a big guy, a joyful guy, and a really good family man,” Herold said. “The kind of man that should be in policing. Kind. Smart. Willing to help.”

RELATED: Day of Remembrance events planned 1 year after King Soopers shooting

Herold said she had just finished up a meeting when she received a text about a shooting at the grocery store.

“It was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my career, and I’ve been doing this a long time,” she said. “But it is that feeling that there is no way this could be happening.”

After the tragedy, Herold received more than 1,000 cards and letters from all over the world. It took her weeks to read every single one.

“That gave me hope,” she said. “There are such kind people in the world and in the community.”

Countless neighbors dropped off flowers and cards at Talley’s patrol car in the days after the shooting, but Herold said the support never went away over time. She said people offered art therapy and massages to staff, and brought in support animals to help officers who were struggling.

“All different types of resources, therapies, and counseling, has really helped us with our resilience,” she said. “Since this incident happened it has bolstered the morale of the police department, but it has also strengthened the relationship between the community of Boulder and us in numerous ways.”

Even though this is painful to talk about, Herold wants to remember that day. She hopes communities can figure out how to prevent these tragedies from happening again.

“If you saw firsthand the nature of this incident and how fast those 10 people were killed, it is something that should not be forgotten,” she said.

RELATED: #BoulderStrong Resource Center sees increase in traffic ahead of one-year mark of shooting

RELATED: Boulder King Soopers shooting: 1 year later

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