A North Sound woman is remembering her brother who died trying to save lives when a gunman opened fire at a Colorado grocery store.
Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley left a high-paying technology job to join law enforcement. He was 40 years old when he made the switch, and his sister said he was naturally caring and protective of people.
“I had nightmares as a kid,” said Kirstin Brooks. “(Eric) would flick on a nightlight and say, ‘All this darkness, it cannot put out that light.’”
Brooks told KIRO 7 she is finding lasting comfort in her brother’s eternal example.
“Shootings and death and darkness — they happen, but they don’t win. They can’t put out the light that was my brother. They can’t put out the beauty that was his kids and his family,” she said.
Talley was 51 years old when he died.
For Brooks and so many others, he was the reliable “big brother” all the time.
“I don’t think anyone in my family knows how to operate ‘Alexa,’ or a remote. We called Eric,” she said.
Eventually, it would be the entire community of Boulder, Colorado, that would “call” on him too.
Brooks said that as a police officer with Boulder police,Talley mixed his “big brother” motto with his knowledge of all things mathematics.
“He would always tell me, ‘Don’t speed, Kirstin. It’ll only get you there one minute faster than the person doing the speed limit,’” she said.
Talley leaves behind a wife and seven kids.
Despite such a gut-wrenching loss, Brooks said she has compassion for the man accused of killing her brother.
“My family forgives him. (We forgive) whatever nightmare he came from that he had to do that. There isn’t hatred there. There’s none,” she said.
Brooks added that her brother was just weeks away from taking on a new position at his police department because he didn’t want to put his family through the pain of having him hurt or killed on the job.