'He was willing to die to protect others': Funeral Mass is held for Boulder police officer, 51, who was shot dead trying to save victims from gunman who opened fire in a supermarket, killing 10

 A Roman Catholic funeral Mass was held on Monday for the Colorado police officer who was shot dead after rushing into a supermarket where a gunman had opened fire, killing nine others.

The draped casket of Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, 51, was flanked by six candles during a traditional Latin Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver. 

Seating was limited because of COVID-19 restrictions but the service was being shown on a livestream provided by the Archdiocese of Denver that is also being shown on television stations.

Talley's family planned to attend the service but has asked that they not be shown during the Mass, which is being conducted in the style that pre-dated reforms made by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, the archdiocese said.

Talley, who grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, took an untraditional route to becoming a police officer.  


The body of slain Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley is carried into a Funeral Mass at The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Monday in Denver, Colorado

The body of slain Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley is carried into a Funeral Mass at The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Monday in Denver, Colorado

Seating was limited because of COVID-19 restrictions but the service was being shown on a livestream provided by the Archdiocese of Denver that is also being shown on television stations

Seating was limited because of COVID-19 restrictions but the service was being shown on a livestream provided by the Archdiocese of Denver that is also being shown on television stations

Talley's family planned to attend the service but has asked that they not be shown during the Mass, which is being conducted in the style that pre-dated reforms made by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, the archdiocese said

Talley's family planned to attend the service but has asked that they not be shown during the Mass, which is being conducted in the style that pre-dated reforms made by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, the archdiocese said

Officers are seen escorting Talley's American flag-draped coffin into the cathedral on Monday

Officers are seen escorting Talley's American flag-draped coffin into the cathedral on Monday 

Police officers were seen saluting as Talley's body arrived at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for on Monday in Denver, Colorado

Police officers were seen saluting as Talley's body arrived at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for on Monday in Denver, Colorado

He held a master's degree in computer communications but left his office job to join the department in 2010 at the age of 40 because he wanted to serve his community, his father Homer 'Shay' Talley, 74, told The Associated Press last week. Talley was a devoted father to seven children and 'knew the Lord,' his father said.

A memorial service was also planned for Talley on Tuesday at a large non-denominational church, Flatirons Community Church, in Lafayette. 

The service is open to the general public but attendance is also restricted because of the pandemic. Organizers are encouraging people to watch a livestream of the service on television news stations.

Talley was remembered by Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold as being someone who 'cared about this community, Boulder Police, his family'. 


'He was willing to die to protect others, and that gets lost in translation,' Herold added. 

According to police, Talley led an initial team of officers into the King Soopers store in Boulder on March 22 within 30 seconds of arriving and the suspect, later identified as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, shot at the officers, killing Talley.

'No other individuals were shot or killed after these brave officers engaged the suspect,' police said in a tweet last week.

Alissa, who was wounded in the leg during an exchange of shots with police, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder for firing at another officer. 

A procession for the officer was seen arriving at the cathedral Monday afternoon in Denver, Colorado

A procession for the officer was seen arriving at the cathedral Monday afternoon in Denver, Colorado

Officers were seen on motorcycles leading a procession for the slain officer on Monday in Denver

Officers were seen on motorcycles leading a procession for the slain officer on Monday in Denver 

A memorial service was also planned for Talley on Tuesday at a large non-denominational church, Flatirons Community Church, in Lafayette

A memorial service was also planned for Talley on Tuesday at a large non-denominational church, Flatirons Community Church, in Lafayette

Talley's body is seen being carried into a Funeral Mass at The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Monday

Talley's body is seen being carried into a Funeral Mass at The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Monday 

The uniform of Boulder Police officer Eric Talley was placed by the entrance of the cathedral

The uniform of Boulder Police officer Eric Talley was placed by the entrance of the cathedral 

Police officers carry Talley's coffin to a hearse after the funeral mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Monday

Police officers carry Talley's coffin to a hearse after the funeral mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Monday 

A procession makes its way out of The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception during the Funeral Mass on Monday

A procession makes its way out of The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception during the Funeral Mass on Monday 

Police officers salute as Talley's body is carried to a hearse after a funeral mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Police officers salute as Talley's body is carried to a hearse after a funeral mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception 

An American flag flies next to the Colorado State Capitol during a funeral mass for the slain officer on Monday

An American flag flies next to the Colorado State Capitol during a funeral mass for the slain officer on Monday

A motorcade escorts a hearse carrying the body of slain Boulder Police officer Eric Talley down Colfax Avenue on Monday afternoon

A motorcade escorts a hearse carrying the body of slain Boulder Police officer Eric Talley down Colfax Avenue on Monday afternoon 

The hearse carrying Talley's body is seen being escorted by police officers on Monday down Colfax Avenue

The hearse carrying Talley's body is seen being escorted by police officers on Monday down Colfax Avenue

Denver firefighters salute a motorcade escorting a hearse carrying Talley's body down Colfax Avenue after a funeral mass

Denver firefighters salute a motorcade escorting a hearse carrying Talley's body down Colfax Avenue after a funeral mass

Prosecutors expect to file more charges as the investigation continues.

One of Alissa's public defenders, Kathryn Herold, told a judge during his first court appearance that they needed to assess Alissa's mental illness but did not provide details about his condition.

It was revealed earlier on Monday that Alissa 'chuckled' as he carried out the attack. 

It remains unclear what his motive for the mass shooting was, but family and friends have said that he was a 'paranoid loner' who had never had a girlfriend and was bullied in school over his Syrian heritage. 

In a new interview with The Denver Post, witnesses described hearing a man - who they believe was him - laughing as the shots rang out. 

'We could hear a man chuckling. Gunshots were close. We believe it was him chuckling,' Angelina Romero-Chavez said. 

Police also said across radio communications: 'This guy is laughing at us.'  

Ahmad Alissa, 21, is in custody awaiting his next court date. He is being held on 10 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and more charges are expected
Alissa on the day of the shooting, being led out of the store by police. He 'chuckled' as he shot his victims, survivors say

Ahmad Alissa (left and right, on the day of the shooting), 21, is in custody awaiting his next court date. He is being held on 10 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and more charges are expected


Workers told the Post how they hid behind trash cans to shield themselves from the shooter.

Logan Smith, one of the store employees, told how he had just had lunch with Rikki Olds, 25, when the shooting began. 

Olds was one of the ten people killed. Smith said it looked as though she was trying to lock the doors. She had been working at the self-service checkout.

All of the witnesses describe Alissa as moving slowly and deliberately through the store. He was not running and he was not spraying bullets indiscriminately.

The gunman was eventually cornered near the pharmacy area of the grocery store. He handed himself to police then asked to phone his mother. 

By the time he was taken into custody, he had removed his jeans, shoes and top. Witnesses said he had been wearing a green tactical vest beforehand. 

Alissa bought his AR-556 assault rifle a week before he carried out the killings.  

'He was willing to die to protect others': Funeral Mass is held for Boulder police officer, 51, who was shot dead trying to save victims from gunman who opened fire in a supermarket, killing 10 'He was willing to die to protect others': Funeral Mass is held for Boulder police officer, 51, who was shot dead trying to save victims from gunman who opened fire in a supermarket, killing 10 Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:52 Rating: 5

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