Officer Eric Talley died in the line of duty on Monday, March 22, responding to a call about a gunman in Boulder, Colorado. Talley was the father of seven children and a devout Catholic.
He was the first officer to arrive on the scene of the shooting — a grocery store where 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa opened fire. Officer Talley was the shooter’s 10th and final victim.
Monday’s funeral Mass was at Denver’s cathedral, offered by clergy from the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. During the Requiem Mass, a pair of commentators explained the Latin Mass to those watching via livestream.
Church Militant knows of police officers who traveled all the way from California to pay their respects to Officer Talley.
The homilist at Monday’s Liturgy spoke about Our Lord’s suffering and death, the theology of the Mass and the sacrifices of police officers like Talley.
“A faithful and heroic officer of the law. But I will stop there, since traditional Catholics do not want to be canonized at their funerals. They want prayers for their stay in purgatory. They want prayers for their loved ones whom they left behind.”
A few days prior, the casket was present for visitation at the Talleys’ home parish — Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Littleton, Colorado — as people prayed for the repose of his soul, chanting the Office of the Dead.
Loved ones remember Officer Talley as a kind, loving man, willing to help those in need.
Friend of the family, Steve Comandari: “He has always helped us. We had businesses he helped us with, things he did on the side with us. … [He was] definitely a better friend to me than I was to him.”
People around the country have heralded Talley’s bravery as he offered his life to protect the innocent.
When police formally took the shooter into custody from a hospital last week, they made a point of using Officer Talley’s handcuffs in the arrest.
For his loved ones, Talley’s passing presents not only the death of an officer, but also the loss of a friend, parishioner and father.