DENVER – Boulder’s downtown post office was formally dedicated Thursday to Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, who was one of 10 people killed in last year’s deadly mass shooting at the Table Mesa King Soopers.
Talley, 51, was one of the first officers to respond to the shooting on March 22 last year, and his actions were credited with preventing further casualties at the Boulder grocery store.
Rep. Joe Neguse, the Democrat who represents the district that includes Boulder, introduced a bill in May 2021 seeking to rename the post office at 1905 15th Street as the “Officer Eric H. Talley Post Office Building” seeking to honor Talley forever.
The bill passed the House last October and the Senate in February. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on March 10. Neguse, Gov. Jared Polis, Talley’s mother, sister, wife and children, family members of other shooting victims, and Boulder police officers all attended Thursday’s ceremony formally dedicating the post office in Talley’s honor.
“While more than a year has passed since that devastating day, our hearts remain heavy in grief and in anguish as we continue to mourn the loss of fathers, of daughters, of spouses, of friends, of neighbors and coworkers,” Neguse said. “…We will never forget the stories of those we lost, and we will never forget Officer Talley’s heroic actions that day. Their memories will live on in our hearts forever.”
Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold thanked Neguse for his work on the bill and with the victims and community in the year and a half since the shooting.
“I can think of no better honor to Eric’s life than to have this beautiful, historic post office named in Eric’s honor,” she said. “Eric loved this community and now his sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Talley’s mother, Judy Talley, thanked Neguse and Boulder police for their support and for the honor for her son. She also discussed talking to Talley about being the one to respond to a mass shooting and how he would not call for backup and hesitate, saying he told her there were things that are worse than death, including waiting for backup as people are dying.
“This is not just how Eric died. This is my son. This is how Eric lived his whole life,” she said. “Thank you so much for letting me talk about him.”
And Talley’s sister, Kirstin Talley, told a story about her brother helping her conquer her fear of the dark by putting a night light in her room when he was 8 years old.
“What’s important about this is you can’t teach something unless you know it. He was 8 years old and he knew at that time that all the darkness in the world cannot put out one single light,” she said. “He wasn’t thinking of himself, of what he might lose at that moment (when he responded to the shooting),” she said. “He flew into that store thinking of one thing: You. All of you. Of all the people in there that were suffering.”
“His light still shines. And for all of you who have lost anybody to any kind of darkness in this world, I hope this is a reminder that all the darkness in the world cannot put out one small light,” Kirstin Talley continued. “When we’re all gone, that building will stand and someone will say, ‘Who is Eric Talley?’ He had a social conscience, and he gave his life. He sacrificed his life without a thought for himself. That’s who Eric Talley was. And in this world today, we need that.”