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The cop killed in the Colorado supermarket massacre left a six-figure job to join the police force — to try to make a difference after a close friend’s tragic DUI death, a pal said Tuesday.
Slain hero Officer Eric Talley, a married dad with seven kids, was working a lucrative IT job when he made the life-altering move to law enforcement in 2010 at age 40 after his friend’s fatal crash, his buddy said in news reports.
“That kind of propelled him into law enforcement,” the friend, Jeremy Herko, a lieutenant with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado, told the Denver Post of the accident.
“He cashed out of his 401K,” Herko said of Talley — who had a master’s degree and a black belt in karate, and helped home-school his children with his wife.
Herko told the Washington Post that Talley’s mid-life career change meant “he lost pay.”
“He lost time away from his family. He joined the police academy without a guaranteed job.”
But “he was pretty driven to law enforcement,’’ the pal said of Talley.
Herko told the Denver Post that the pair met at the police academy in Aurora, Colo., and lived down the street from each other till recently, when Talley moved his family to be closer to work to cut down on his commute.
Herko said he frantically tried to reach Talley as word of Monday’s slaughter broke.
Talley, 51, was one of 10 people killed by a gun-toting madman at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder. The cop was among the first officers to arrive at the scene and rushed to help those inside.
“I sent [Talley] a text asking him if he was OK, and of course, he never texted back,” Herko said, choking back tears, to the Denver Post.
“That’s the life of a police officer.’’
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