A public funeral is planned in Colorado on Tuesday for Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley – a day after he was remembered as a hero for rushing into a supermarket to stop a rampaging gunman.
“Jesus has told us, greater love than this no man has than to lay down his life and Eric lived that,” Archbishop Samuel Aquila said Monday during a traditional Latin Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver.
Aquila offered his prayers and condolences for the 51-year-old slain cop’s family, which include his wife and seven children. He also said he would pray for the protection of police officers.
“For too often, you are taken for granted and yet in situations like this, you are the ones who protect human life,” Aquila said.
The 11-year veteran’s black-draped casket stood near the altar as the Rev. Dan Nolan led the celebration of the Mass in Latin.
A choir sang the Solemn High Requiem Mass, which Talley loved, the priests said, according to the Denver Post.
Hundreds of people gathered inside the cathedral, including dozens of police officers, as more than 1,400 others watched online and offered their condolences and prayers.
At their request, his family was not shown on a livestream of the service and no family or friends spoke during the service, which followed the style that pre-dated 1960s reforms made by the Second Vatican Council.
Talley ran into a King Soopers store the afternoon of March 22 after reports of an active shooter inside.
Boulder police said he was the first officer to run into the supermarket, where he was shot and killed inside. Nine other shoppers and King Soopers employees were slaughtered in the mass shooting.
A public funeral for Talley will be held at 11 a.m. local time Tuesday at the Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette. The service will be live-streamed at flatironschurch.com/memorial.
Accused shooter Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, who allegedly used a Ruger AR-566 pistol to carry out the attack, is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and is expected to face additional charges in the coming weeks.
With Post wires