Officer Killed in Colorado Shooting Described as a 'Hero' | 22 Words

The first police officer to respond to the devastating Colorado shootings yesterday afternoon was sadly killed in the line of duty...

And today, he has been identified and named a true hero.

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Here's the full story...

Of course, people have been left utterly heartbroken over the news of yet another mass shooting in our country.

​Police responded to reports of an "active shooter" at the King Soopers grocery store just before 3 pm local time on Monday in Boulder.

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The gunman, who is yet to be formally identified, ended up shooting and killing ten people.

This image has been circulating online...

And it is strongly believed that this is the man responsible for the deaths of these innocent people.

The victims' families are still being notified...

And the Boulder police chief, Maris Herold, announced the death toll at a news conference on Monday night, fighting back tears.

The suspected gunman, who was minorly injured, has been arrested and is currently being held in police custody.

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This vicious act comes just a week after 8 innocent people were shot dead - including 6 Asian women - at 3-day spas in and around Atlanta.

Many customers who were in the store yesterday witnessed the bloodshed...

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And they have been speaking to numerous news outlets about the harrowing things they saw during that terrifying hour.

"We were at the checkout, and shots just started going off."

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Sarah Moonshadow, forty-two, a customer and resident of Boulder, was in the store with her son, Nicholas, on Monday and recounted scenes of pandemonium as gunfire rang out.

"I said, 'Nicholas get down.' And Nicholas ducked. And we just started listening and there, just repetitive shots ... And I just said, 'Nicholas, run'," she told Reuters, as per The Guardian.

Another customer, Ryan Borowski, was inside the store when the shooting began.

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He told CNN: "I saw terrified faces running towards me and that's when I turned and ran the other direction."

He said staff helped customers to exit from the back of the store but some people just froze on the spot: "We ran and I don't know why other people didn't and I am sorry that they froze and I just wish that this didn't happen – I wish I had an answer for why it did."

Alex Arellano, thirty-five, was working in the meat department at King Soopers when he heard gunshots and saw people running for the exit.

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"I thought I was going to die," he told the New York Times, when he heard the shot getting closer, "I'm thinking of my parents, and I was freaking out."

He hid with 2 other men before escaping through a rear exit.

But now, in the aftermath of the devastating incident, the first responding officer at the scene has been identified.

Officer Eric Talley was the first officer to respond to reports of an armed man inside the grocery store but, sadly, it's where the father of 7 died after actions that were described as "heroic" by officials.

Talley, fifty-one, had been a member of the force since 2010, according to Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold.

"It didn't surprise me he was the first one there," Talley's father, Homer Talley, told CNN affiliate KUSA of his son's heroic actions.

He described him as a prankster with a "great sense of humor."

He is survived by his wife and 7 children, the oldest of whom is twenty, according to his father.

"He loved his family more than anything."

​Talley hadΒ arrived on the scene just minutes after the first 911 calls came in reporting shots fired.

"I have to tell you the heroic action of this officer when he responded to the scene," Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said, adding that Talley responded after "a phone call about a possible person with a patrol rifle.

"Officer Talley responded to the scene, was first on the scene, and he was fatally shot," Herold added.

He was remembered as "one of the outstanding officers" by the county's district attorney.

Rest in peace, Officer Eric Talley.

Our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.