Dad of Boulder cop Eric Talley urges 'don’t politicize his death' – as officer had similar rifle to one used to kill him
THE DAD of a cop who was killed by the Boulder shooter has said his son would have hated to see his death used for political purposes.
Officer Eric Talley's grieving father said his son was a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and he would have been "deeply offended" to know his death was being politicized to promote gun control.
Officer Talley was among 10 people slaughtered at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado on Monday.
The 51-year-old cop was one of the first to arrive on the scene – and was shot dead as he raced inside to tackle the gunman.
The 10 victims ranged in age from 20 to 65 and Mayor Sam Weaver said the community felt the loss "in our bones".
The suspected shooter Ahmad Alissa appeared in a wheelchair in court today.
Following the massacre, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden was considering possible executive orders on gun control.
But Officer Talley's dad, Homer, told TMZ: "My son would have been deeply offended to know his death would be used to promote gun control. Before he was an officer, he enjoyed shooting."
Talley said his son, who left a six-figure IT job to join police force, owned an AR-15, which he often used for target practice.
The firearms are modeled after semiautomatic rifles and have similar mechanisms.
Talley called the attack at the grocery store "a senseless act and that is just it".
"The situation [Eric] found himself in wasn’t one that the government could protect him from," he added.
"Just because some wacko goes around shooting people doesn’t mean guns need to be taken away. You can’t take away enough guns to protect this country."
Talley said that "to take away that freedom completely is something I am against and my son was against".
"My family and my son are people of faith, we understand forgiveness and that is necessary for not just the shooter, but for ourselves," he added.
Talley's sister, Kirstin Brooks, shared a heartbroken post on social media after her brother's death.
"I cannot explain how beautiful he was and what a devastating loss this is to so many," Brooks said.
"Fly high my sweet brother."
Speaking to The Washington Post, Brooks described her brother as someone who had always been protective.
“I honestly know my brother, when he heard there was a shooting in a supermarket, I know his first thought was, ‘There are kids in there,’ ” Brooks told the outlet.
She added that her brother – who had seven children together with his wife – "loved kids".
"I know Eric would have wanted to save every single one of those lives. I know why he flew in there first, because he was thinking, there are families in that store," she told the outlet.
Alissa, 21, has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder after rampaging through King Soopers with an AR-15-style rifle.
He has been held without bail as his "mental illness" is probed.
He appeared in person before District Judge Thomas Francis Mulvahill at 8.15am local time on Thursday morning.
His lawyer asked for the judge to delay the next hearing for three months.
The legal team insisted "we cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa's mental illness."
"We cannot begin to asses the nature and depth of Mr. Alissa's mental illness until we have the discovery from the government," one of his attorneys reportedly said.
The alleged shooter bought an assault rifle six days before opening fire inside a crowded Colorado supermarket, according to an arrest affidavit released on Tuesday.
Around 2.30pm on Tuesday, police were called Kings Soopers grocery store in Boulder with reports of an active shooter.
Alissa's court appearance comes as:
- The suspect's family at first thought he was a victim in the shooting
- Ten people died in a gun massacre at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
- Witnesses said a man in tactical body armor shot victims one by one with a rifle during the rampage.
- A bearded suspect wearing only his underwear and covered in blood was led away in handcuffs.
- Police revealed the name of the alleged gunman, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, who has now been charged with murder.
- Boulder police officer Eric Talley, 51, was among those killed as he responded to reports of an active shooter.
- The names of the 10 victims killed in the massacre have been revealed.
- It was revealed Alissa was allegedly known by the FBI prior to the shooting.
- President Biden called for tighter gun checks as it was reported the alleged shooter bought the gun days before the massacre.
Witnesses described the gunman shooting victims one-by-one with a rifle in the graphic massacre.
Video showed police escorting a man – the alleged gunman – in handcuffs away from the scene, dressed in nothing but shorts and covered in blood.
Initial reports said that at least six were killed in the shooting, but the death toll was later revealed to be ten.
Denny Strong, 20, Neven Stoanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Officer Eric Talley, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, Jody Waters, 65 were the 10 victims.
Alissa's court appearance comes just hours after it was revealed that he once threatened to "kill everybody" after claiming he had been branded a "terrorist" by a classmate in high school, according to police documents.
Alissa – who one classmate claimed had a temper "like a demon" – was found guilty of assaulting the student after knocking him to the ground before climbing on top of him and punching him in the head multiple times, according to a police affidavit.
And according to the New York Times, Ahmad previously had two run-ins with Boulder cops in 2018 – one on a report of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and one of criminal mischief. It is not clear if he was convicted of a crime.
Law enforcement officials also told the outlet that Ahmad was known by the FBI because he was linked to another individual under investigation by the bureau.
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