NewsBoulder King Soopers Shooting


Boulder officer deaths have been rare, but the department is no stranger to tragedy

Boulder fallen officers
Posted at 3:00 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 17:46:47-04

BOULDER, Colo. — When officer Eric Talley died in Monday's mass shooting at King Soopers, he was the first Boulder officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1994.

And while the Boulder force hadn't lost an officer on the job in more than 25 years, the department is no stranger to tragedy.

Talley was the sixth Boulder officer to be killed in the line of duty, and the fifth to be fatally shot.

Here are the other fallen officers' stories, according to Boulder police and the Officer Down Memorial Page:

Officer Beth Haynes — End of Watch: April 16, 1994

Haynes, 26, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance in the 1500 block of Eisenhower Drive. The shooter had kidnapped a man in Denver and drove him to an apartment in Boulder, where the victim escaped.

When Haynes responded, she confronted the suspect. But when she saw a bystander nearby, she went to offer protection, and the suspect opened fire, striking her twice. Haynes returned fire but her gun jammed. The suspect then shot Haynes three more times, in the head, before committing suicide.

Haynes had been a police officer for three years.

Officer Beth Haynes

Officer Gary Dale Mills — End of Watch: Aug. 26, 1973

Mills, 26, was shot and killed after leaving the scene of a domestic disturbance at a trailer park. A man who wasn't involved in the initial disturbance call came out of a trailer and shot a 12-gauge shotgun, striking Mills in the back. The suspect was sentenced to 10-40 years.

Officer Gary Dale Mills

Officer Raymond J. McMaster — End of Watch: Nov. 9, 1958

McMaster, 30, had pulled over a taxi cab on Highway 7 when he was shot and killed. McMaster stopped the cab after a reported robbery in Lyons, north of Boulder. McMaster approached the cab and a man inside the car opened fire.

Two suspects involved in the incident were sentenced to life in prison and a third received 20 years. McMaster was a four-year veteran of the department.

Officer Raymond J. McMaster

Patrolman Elmer E. Cobb — End of Watch: Nov. 19, 1923

Cobb, 45, was walking to police headquarters when he was shot execution-style behind a billboard. His death was never solved "due to Prohibition-era political corruption," according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Cobb had been on the police force for only a year.

Patrolman Elmer E. Cobb

Chief of Police Lawrence P. Bass — March 18, 1920

Bass, 49, Boulder's first police chief, was a 21-year police veteran when he died in a automobile crash. The Boulder County undersheriff, William Stretcher, also died in the crash. The two lawmen were responding to a fire when they collided with a city fire truck at 19th and Pearl streets. The Buick that Bass and Stretcher were driving was the city's first police car and only two days old. The fire truck was the city's first fire truck.

Chief of Police Lawrence P. Bass