Police, fire, other first responders and civilians gathered along Foothills Parkway as Talley was taken from the Boulder County Coroner's Office to a funeral home in Aurora. A giant American flag was visible atop a fire crane as cars passed under.
Officers standing along the route saluted the passing vehicles and the herse transporting Talley's body. Some pedestrians held blue lives matter flags as they paid their respects.
Talley, 51, a father of seven, died Monday when a gunman killed him and nine others in a deadly rampage at the King Soopers grocery store. He was the first police officer to respond to the scene.
"I have to tell you, the heroic action of this officer when he responded to this scene," Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said Monday. "Officer Talley responded to the scene, was the first on the scene and he was fatally shot."
He joined the department in 2010 at age 40 after giving up a lucrative job in information technology. The DUI-related death of a close friend prompted him to go into law enforcement.
"At age 40, he decided he wanted to serve his community," Homer "Shay" Talley, 74, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "He left his desk job. He just wanted to serve, and that’s what he did. He just enjoyed the police family."
Officer Mark Bliley, head of the Boulder Police Department’s union, told the Denver Post that Talley had a unique ability to connect with the public.
"He was just a highly respected, well-loved person and officer," Bliley said. "Just a solid person … I don’t know of anyone who didn’t like Eric."
The 21-year-old suspected gunman has been charged with 10 counts of murder and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.