An Arvada police officer fatally shot “good Samaritan” Johnny Hurley in Olde Town after Hurley killed a gunman who wanted to kill as many Arvada police officers as possible, investigators said Friday.
Minutes earlier, the gunman ambushed Arvada police Officer Gordon Beesley, fatally shooting him. Hurley shot the gunman, identified by police as Ronald Troyke, and was holding Troyke’s AR-15 when an Arvada officer arrived, according to a timeline of events released by the police department Friday afternoon.
The timeline is the first time officials have described how the incident played out. It describes a chaotic scene in the middle of the day in the busy restaurant and shopping district.
Video from a security camera shows Troyke run up behind Beesley as the officer responded to a call about a suspicious person at 1:31 p.m. Monday.
“Officer Beesley stopped, turned and immediately was shot twice by the suspect,” the timeline states. “Officer Beesley did not reach for his gun and takes no defensive action – he simply turns in response to the suspect who then shoots and kills him.”
Investigators found a note written by Troyke with multiple statements about wanting to kill police, including, “Today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can.”
“We lost two heroes on June 21 and we need to respect their memories and their loved ones,” Arvada police Chief Link Strate said in a video released Friday.
The incident began with a 12:49 p.m. call to police 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 another unnamed officer went to contact Troyke at his Arvada home, but were unable to find him.
Soon after, at 1:17 p.m., police dispatch received a call about a “suspicious person” in Olde Town Square, police said. Beesley responded to the square at 1:31 p.m., parking on Webster Street before walking through an alley toward the plaza.
Troyke then pulled up in his truck, parked and ran after the officer with a semi-automatic shotgun, police said. Troyke then shot Beesley.
After he killed Beesley, police said, Troyke shot out the windows of a patrol car, before returning to his truck to retrieve an AR-15 rifle.
As the gunman ran back toward Olde Town Square, Hurley shot him with a handgun, according to police.
“A responding Arvada Police Officer then encountered Mr. Hurley, who was holding the suspect’s AR-15,” police wrote. “The officer shot him.”
Hurley’s family released their first public statement Friday and thanked the community for its support and love.
“Before Johnny engaged in a clear-eyed response to a dire situation, he was already a wonderful human being with a great enthusiasm for life,” the family said in the statement. “Johnny had an inquiring mind, independent spirit, and strong principles, though he was beholden to no single cause or belief. He called out injustice when he saw it. He brought joy to many people and looked for the good in others. Moving forward without Johnny feels impossible. We are so proud of him.”
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