Ball State leader: Officer slain in supermarket shooting embodied university values

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — “You don’t have that many personal heroes in life, but Eric will always be one of our principal heroes,” said Dr. Frank Groom, a former professor of Eric Talley, the Boulder, Colorado, police officer gunned down while responding Monday’s mass shooting at a supermarket.

Talley was a graduate of Ball State University.

“He gave back with his life to his community,” said Groom, a professor of information and communication sciences at Ball State.

Talley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in information communication sciences. He had worked in information technology before deciding to change careers and become a police officer.

He was also a husband, and a father of seven children. “His children are all home-schooled. His wife stayed home,” Groom said.

“We have his wife, who was not in the work environment but in the teaching environment, and these poor children, and so we’re concerned with whatever anyone can do for the family,” the professor said.

Groom says Talley was one of his top students.

“We will remember Eric as one of our best grads and one of our real heroes,” the professor said.

Groom added that Talley stayed in touch with the former director of Ball State’s Center for Information and Communication Sciences, Steve Jones, and that Talley even named his first child after Jones. “He had seven children and he had his first child there and we always remember it because he named the child after Steve Jones and he meant to do that because he enjoyed the classes with Steve Jones,” Groom said.

Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns said the university values service and that’s exactly what Talley embodied. “It was the character and commitment of Officer Talley that is so inspiring,” Mearns said. “Two of those values are encourage and social responsibility, meaning service to others, and officer Talley certainly embodies those values.”

“Our grads are Ball State,” Groom said. “We’re not here just for the students because that’s a very transitional thing.”

Mearns says the university is looking at holding a special ceremony or tribute to Talley.


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