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'His heart was so big:' Boulder Officer Eric Talley honored in memorial service

Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley was remembered at a memorial service in Lafayette on Tuesday. A procession honored him before his funeral.

LAFAYETTE, Colo. — A public funeral was held Tuesday for Eric Talley, the Boulder Police officer who was killed in the March 22 mass shooting at a King Soopers.

The funeral was held at Flatirons Community Church at 355 W. South Boulder Road in Lafayette. A miles-long procession involving hundreds of law enforcement vehicles honored Talley ahead of the memorial service. 

Talley was one of the 10 people killed in the shooting at the King Soopers off South Table Mesa Drive. The ones closest to Talley remembered him as a loving husband, father, friend and officer who was full of compassion and kindness. 

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold praised Talley for his love of public service.

"When called into service, when given the chance to help others, Eric did so selflessly and without hesitation," Herold said.

> Watch the full memorial service and procession: 

RELATED: Powerful images from the procession honoring fallen Boulder Officer Eric Talley

Herold credited Talley's bravery and quick action with saving dozens of innocent lives inside the King Soopers store. 

“Eric was kind. Eric was brave, and in the end, willing to die to save others," Herold said. "The Boulder Police Department will never forget Eric or his family’s sacrifice."  

Talley’s direct supervisor described the fallen officer as a real-life example of good in the world.

“His heart was so big he wanted to share it with the world, but he had an unbelievable sense of humor and was always up for a good practical joke,” Sgt. Adrian Drelles said.

The 51-year-old leaves behind a wife and seven children. The oldest is 20, and the youngest is 7 years old. He left a previous career to become a police officer in 2010 and previously made the news for rescuing ducklings from a storm drain in 2013.

Gov. Jared Polis also spoke at the memorial service and said he hopes Talley's memory will serve as an inspiration for every Coloradan. 

“As governor, I speak for the entire state of Colorado when I say that we are here for you and we will always be here for you," Polis said. "Those who didn’t have the honor of knowing Officer Talley in life now know him in blessed memory, a memory that we will always cherish.”

The ceremony included a poem written by Talley’s children for Christmas in 2019, called “Our Unsung Hero.” It praises him for risking his life.

Talley is the sixth Boulder officer killed in the line of duty.

A patrol vehicle parked outside the Boulder Police Department at 1805 33rd St. has become a makeshift memorial for Talley, and the public has been leaving notes of support and thankfulness for the officer who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

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