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Colorado police confirm officer shot 'Samaritan', say he was holding suspect's rifle at the time

olde town arvada shooting
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 22:33:05-04

ARVADA, Colo. (KMGH) — The Arvada Police Department confirmed Friday one of its officers shot Johnny Hurley, the Good Samaritan who witnesses say shot the suspect in the Olde Town Arvada shooting, which Denver7 Investigates previously confirmed through three ranking sources Wednesday.

Arvada police released a statement and timeline Friday afternoon of the events Monday in which they confirmed Hurley shot Ronald Troyke, the man accused of killing Officer Gordon Beesley, then picked up one of Troyke’s guns, at which time he was shot by an Arvada police officer. The timeline also says that Troyke had planned the shooting beforehand.

The Arvada Police Department released the following timeline Friday afternoon:

• 12:49 p.m.: The suspect’s brother called asking for a welfare check because his brother was going to “do something crazy.”
• 1:08 p.m.: Officer Gordon Beesley and another Arvada officer attempted to contact the suspect, identified as Ronald Troyke, at his residence, to check his welfare but were unable to make contact with him, so they cleared from the call at 1:18 p.m.
• 1:17 p.m.: Dispatch received a call for a suspicious person in the Olde Town Square.
• 1:30 p.m.: Beesley was dispatched to the suspicious person call, arriving at the Olde Town Square at 1:31 p.m.
• 1:31 p.m.: Beesley parked on Webster Street and walked through an alley toward the Olde Town Square. As he walked westbound, Troyke pulled into the area in a truck and parked behind him. The suspect got out of his truck with a 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun, ran after Beesley and yelled at him. Beesley stopped, turned and immediately was shot twice by the suspect. Beesley did not reach for his gun and took no defensive action. He turned in response to the suspect who then shot and killed him. Troyke then shot out the windows of patrol cars parked in the area and into the air. He ran back to his truck and retrieved an AR-15 and then ran back towards the Olde Town Square with the long gun, where he was confronted by Hurley. Hurley then shot the suspect with a handgun.A responding Arvada police officer then encountered Hurley, who was holding the suspect’s AR-15. The officer shot him.

Arvada Police also released video the department edited showing part of the shooting. (Editor's note: Warning, the video may be difficult to watch.)

Hurley’s family released the following statement Friday afternoon through the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office:

“Our beloved son and brother Johnny is no more. We loved him dearly. May he rest in peace. 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. 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.

"We are deeply moved by the outpouring of love from the community and are grateful for the support of the Arvada Police Department and their partners. We don’t yet have all of the information about what happened to Johnny, and we look forward to learning the outcome of a thorough and independent investigation.

"As a family, we ask that there not be speculation in the media while the facts are being determined. It helps no one. We ask that our privacy be respected while our grief is still so fresh. We ask that any media inquiries be directed to the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office.”

WARNING: Video shows Olde Town Arvada shooting suspect fire weapon at police

According to the release from Arvada police, the suspect, Troyke, left a document for Arvada police that allegedly said, among other things:

  • “My goal today is to kill Arvada PD officers”
  • “We the people were never your enemy, but we are now”
  • “This is what you get, you are the people who are expendable”
  • “Hundreds of you pigs should be killed daily”
  • “Today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can”
  • “I just hope I don’t die without killing any of you pigs”

The document also, according to police, went on “to express that this is his way of holding law enforcement accountable.”

Earlier Friday, the First Judicial District Attorney's Office confirmed its Critical Incident Response Team is leading the investigation into Hurley’s death. The team investigates any incident where an on-duty law enforcement officer uses deadly force, or attempts to, in the First Judicial District.

District Attorney Alexis King said the investigation into Hurley’s death is a “massive and complex effort.” She said the office is only providing limited information to the public because the “premature release of information can compromise witness interviews and other evidence collection.”

Once the investigation is complete, King will review it to see if charges are warranted. The Arvada Police Department is handling the investigation into Beesley’s death, while the CIRT is investigating the police shooting of Hurley without Arvada police, Det. David Snelling said Friday.

“The Arvada Police Department understands and appreciates the public’s interest in the events that resulted in the tragic loss of Officer Gordon Beesley and the hero Johnny Hurley,” Snelling said in a release. “We want to be clear that although these two deaths unfolded as part of the same incident, they are being investigated separately.”

Bill Troyanos, an employee at the Arvada Army Navy Surplus store, said earlier this week he witnessed Troyke, 59, shoot Beesley, and said Hurley then shot Troyke.

Beesley, a 19-year veteran with Arvada police, was working patrol in Olde Town Arvada for the summer, but he spent the school year as a beloved school resource officer at Oberon Middle School.

Few details have been released about Troyke, however, our partners at The Denver Post previously confirmed through an Arvada detective that investigators found a note threatening to harm law enforcement officers.

“Mr. Hurley’s actions certainly saved others from serious injury or death,” Snelling said in the news release. “Finally, it is clear that the suspect bears responsibility for this tragic sequences of events. To protect the investigation, and consistent with CIRT protocols and applicable legal and ethical rules, Arvada will not comment further on the CIRT investigation until after it has been completed.”

This story originally reported by Blayke Roznowski and Blair Miller on TheDenverChannel.com.

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