On Monday, Colorado police officer Gordon Beesley was ambushed and shot by 59-year old Ronald Troyke, who had “expressed hatred of police officers,” according to Arvada Police Department Chief Link Strate. Forty-year-old John Hurley, who confronted the gunman, was also fatally shot.
According to the department, police were notified of a disturbance near Arvada Library in Olde Town Square around 1:15 p.m. on Monday. About 15 minutes after Beesley responded to the call, the department received reports that multiple shots had been fired and an officer was hit. The gunman was pronounced dead at the scene.
While not much is known about the confirmed gunman, Strate said the shooting was fueled by disdain for police officers.
“I can tell you that Gordon was targeted because he was wearing an Arvada police uniform and a badge,” he said.
“Communities need to understand and know what they ask of their police officers — the sacrifices they make, the cost to them to protect your safety. This was a deliberate act of violence,” Strate said.
Strate identified the second victim John Hurley as a “good Samaritan” who “likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life.”
Hurley was shopping at the Arvada Army Navy Surplus store where eyewitness Bill Troyanos works, Denver7 reported. Troyanos said when gunshots rang from outside, Hurley pulled his concealed carry-on gun from its holster and ran toward them.
“He did not hesitate; he didn’t stand there and think about it. He totally heard the gunfire, went to the door, saw the shooter, and immediately ran in that direction,” Troyanos said. “I just want to make sure his family knows how heroic he was.”
According to more eyewitness reports, Hurley urged bystanders to safety. Although police have not released information on who shot Hurley or the gunman, Troyanos said he witnessed Hurley confront and shoot the gunman.
According to Hurley’s friend Brian Romero, who organized a GoFundMe for the Hurley family, Hurley is survived by his loving parents and sister.
“[John’s] story is not making national news as the officer involved was a 19 year veteran and beloved community member,” Romero wrote. “Johnny was also a victim of senseless violence all too prevalent in today’s society.”
The APD is conducting an ongoing criminal investigation to monitor the case, but authorities said the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.
“My thoughts are with the family and friends of the officer who was tragically killed in the line of duty while swiftly and bravely responding to protect civilians in the area,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement.