Canon

‘Samaritan’ who killed Arvada gunman was shot dead by officer while holding suspect’s AR-15, police say – Canon City Daily Record


Johnny Hurley (Photo courtesy of Cody Soules via Denver7)

An Arvada police officer shot dead “Good Samaritan” Johnny Hurley in Olde Town after Hurley killed a gunman with intent to assassinate officers and recovered the gunman’s AR-15, reported Friday investigators.

Minutes earlier, the gunman had ambushed Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley, shooting him fatally. Hurley fired at the gunman, identified by police as Ronald Troyke, and was holding Troyke’s AR-15 rifle when an officer from Arvada arrived, according to a timeline of events released by police.

The timeline is both the first time officials have described how the incident unfolded and the first time they publicly acknowledge that an Arvada officer killed Hurley. The timeline depicts a chaotic scene in the middle of the day in the bustling dining and shopping district.

Security camera video released by police shows Troyke, 59, chasing Beesley as the officer, a 19-year-old veteran, responded to a call about a suspicious person at 1:31 p.m. Monday.

“Officer Beesley stopped, turned around and was immediately shot by the suspect twice,” the timeline reads. “Officer Beesley did not take his gun and take no defensive action – he simply turns around in response to the suspect who then shoots him and kills him.”

Investigators found a note written by Troyke with several statements about wanting to kill police officers, including: “Today I am going to kill as many officers from Arvada as possible.”

“We lost two heroes on June 21 and we have to respect their memories and their loved ones,” Arvada Police Chief Link Strate said in a video posted Friday.

A warning, then a “suspicious person”

The incident began with a call to the police at 12:49 p.m. from Troyke’s brother who asked for a welfare check because Troyke was going to “do something crazy”, according to the timeline.

Just after 1 p.m., Beesley and an unnamed officer went to contact Troyke at his home in Arvada, but could not find him.

Shortly thereafter, at 1:17 p.m., police dispatch received a call about a “suspicious person” in Olde Town Square, police said. A teenager said he was approached by an older man who made a strange noise and showed them a condom, police said.

Officer Gordon Beesley

Beesley responded to the square at 1:31 p.m., parking on Webster Street before crossing an alleyway towards the square.

Troyke pulled over in his truck, pulled over and ran after the officer with a semi-automatic shotgun, police said. Troyke then yelled at Beesley and shot the officer when he stopped and turned around, according to the timeline.

Surveillance video shows people running after the shooting and Beesley’s body lying in the square.

After killing Beesley, police said, Troyke shot through the windows of a patrol car and fired into the air. He then returned to his truck to retrieve an AR-15 rifle.

As the gunman ran towards Olde Town Square, Hurley shot him with a handgun, police said. Hurley, 40, of Denver, was shopping inside the nearby Army Navy Surplus Store when he saw the gunman pass by, a witness told the Denver Post.

“An Arvada police officer who responded then met Mr. Hurley, who was holding the suspect’s AR-15,” the police wrote. “The officer shot him.

“Going forward without Johnny seems impossible”

Strate called Hurley’s death a tragedy on Friday and reiterated that Hurley’s actions saved lives.

“Johnny’s actions can only be described as decisive, courageous and effective in stopping further loss of life,” he said in the video.

Arvada Police, in the press release containing the timeline, repeatedly referred to Hurley as a “hero” and noted: “It is clear that the suspect bears responsibility for this tragic sequence of events.”

Hurley’s family released their first public statement on Friday and thanked the community for their support and love.

“Before Johnny embarked on a lucid response to a dire situation, he was already a wonderful human being with great enthusiasm for life,” the family said in the statement. “Johnny had a curious mind, an independent mind and strong principles, although he was not indebted to any cause or belief. He cried foul when he saw it. He brought joy to many people and sought the good in others. Going forward without Johnny seems impossible. We are so proud of him.

Investigators have not disclosed the name of the officer who shot and killed Hurley. An investigation into the officer’s actions is continuing, Chief Judicial District Attorney Alexis King said in a statement on Friday.

The officer was on administrative leave on Friday as the investigation continued.

“We are committed to transparency, and the full results of the Johnny Hurley death investigation and all relevant facts will be known at the end of the investigation, when all witnesses have been interviewed and evidence gathered, and when it will not compromise achieving a just result, ”King said.