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Family, law enforcement remember officer Eric Talley, first known victim of the Colorado supermarket shooting

This photo tweeted by the Boulder Police Department late Monday shows Officer Eric Talley. Police say multiple people were killed in a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., including Talley.
This photo tweeted by the Boulder Police Department late Monday shows Officer Eric Talley. Police say multiple people were killed in a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., including Talley.Associated Press

A shooting at a Colorado supermarket has left at least 10 people dead, according to authorities, including a Boulder policeman who was the first to respond to the scene.

A suspect in the afternoon shooting at the King Soopers store in Boulder has been arrested, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said at an evening news conference on Monday. Police did not disclose his name, nor did they have any details on a motive.

The attack is the deadliest mass shooting the United States has had in two years, following the fatal shooting of 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas in 2019, according to the Violence Project, a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University. Less than a week ago, another mass killing left eight people dead at three Atlanta-area spas.

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Members of law enforcement and family are now grieving the loss of officer Eric Talley, a 51-year-old father of seven who had been on the force since 2010, Herold said.

Talley served in numerous roles in the police department and the community of Boulder, Herold said. She went on to detail the “heroic action” of Talley when he responded to the scene.

When the department began receiving phone calls of “shots fired in the area” and a phone call about a “possible person with a patrol rifle,” Talley was the first officer on the scene, Herold said.

“He was fatally shot,” Herold said. She also commended the actions of the officers from the department, federal authorities, and police from across the county and other parts of the region who assisted in the response.

“My heart goes out to Eric Talley’s family, his loved ones, and his colleagues,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said Monday. “He was by all accounts one of the outstanding officers of the Boulder Police Department, and his life was cut too short.”

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Talley is the only victim of the rampage that has been named at this time. Police were still notifying family members of the deceased as of Monday night. The department tweeted early Tuesday morning that authorities would be holding a press conference at 8:30 a.m. MDT and that “no new information will be released before then.”

Homer Talley, the fallen officer’s father, told the Denver-based 9News that it didn’t surprise him his son “was the first one there.”

Eric Talley was 40 when he first joined the police force, his father told the station, but he was working to become a drone operator with the hope it would be a safer career.

“He had a great sense of humor, he was a prankster,” Homer Talley told 9News. “He loved his family more than anything.”

In a statement shared with ABC News, Homer Talley said his son “took his job as a police officer very seriously.”

Of his seven children, the youngest Talley leaves behind is only 7-years-old, Homer Talley said.

Prior to his death, Talley was “looking for a job to keep himself off the front lines,” his father said. “He didn’t want to put his family through something like this, and he believed in Jesus Christ.”

The Boulder Police Department posted a photo of Talley late Monday, writing that his “service will never be forgotten.”

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“Rest in peace Officer Talley,” the department wrote.

Talley is the first officer from the department to be killed in the line of duty since 1994, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Herold said this is a “very complex investigation that will take no less than five days to complete.”

“My heart goes out to the victims of this incident, and I’m grateful for the police officers that responded, and I’m so sorry about the loss of Officer Talley,” Herold said, becoming emotional.

Following the announcement of Talley’s death, a procession of police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances took place in his honor.

Fellow members of law enforcement and first responders lined the streets of Boulder, some with their hands across their chest, others saluting, and several with their heads bowed.

See photos from the procession:

Firefighters saluted as a procession carrying the body of Eric Talley left King Sooper's grocery store where a gunman opened fire on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colo.
Firefighters saluted as a procession carrying the body of Eric Talley left King Sooper's grocery store where a gunman opened fire on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colo. Chet Strange/Getty
A procession of emergency vehicles left a King Soopers grocery store where authorities say multiple people were killed in a shooting on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.
A procession of emergency vehicles left a King Soopers grocery store where authorities say multiple people were killed in a shooting on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.Joe Mahoney
An onlooker reacted as a procession of emergency vehicles left a King Soopers grocery store where authorities say multiple people were killed in a shooting on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.
An onlooker reacted as a procession of emergency vehicles left a King Soopers grocery store where authorities say multiple people were killed in a shooting on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.Joe Mahoney
Law enforcement personnel saluted as the motorcade carrying fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley exited the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22, 2021.
Law enforcement personnel saluted as the motorcade carrying fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley exited the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22, 2021.JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images
Law enforcement and emergency personnel lined the street and saluted the motorcade carrying fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley at it exited the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22, 2021.
Law enforcement and emergency personnel lined the street and saluted the motorcade carrying fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley at it exited the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22, 2021.JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images
Law enforcement personnel saluted as the motorcade carrying fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley exited the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22, 2021.
Law enforcement personnel saluted as the motorcade carrying fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley exited the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22, 2021.JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images
A Colorado State Patrol trooper saluted as a motorcade carrying fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley exited the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22, 2021.
A Colorado State Patrol trooper saluted as a motorcade carrying fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley exited the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo., on March 22, 2021.JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images

Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.