The man who shot and killed a gunman from Colorado was viewed by police as a murderer
Colorado police stated Friday how a heroic bystander who had just shot and killed a police officer-hating shooter was himself fatally struck by a reacting officer.
Johnny Hurley, 40, was shopping in downtown Arvada, a suburb of Denver, when he heard Ronald Troyke ambushed and murdered Officer Gordon Beesley, who responded to a call Monday afternoon, officials said.
Troyke, 59, then returned to his truck to snatch an AR-15 and held it when Hurley – who carried a hidden weapon – confronted and shot him, Police Chief Link Strate said in a video clip released Friday.
But when another officer responded to the scene, he saw Hurley holding the suspect’s rifle – and tragically mistook the Good Samaritan for the cop killer and fatally shot him, Strate said.
“Officer Beesley responded to a call in the Olde Town Arvada area and was brutally assaulted and murdered within seconds by someone expressing hatred of police officers,” Strate said.
“The threat to our officers and our community was stopped by a hero named Johnny Hurley,” said Strate. “Johnny’s actions can only be described as determined, courageous and effective in preventing further losses.”
The unnamed police officer who shot Hurley has been taken on administrative leave as independent law enforcement agencies investigate whether he should be charged with a crime.
Security footage released by police on Friday shows Troyke chasing Beesley in a parking lot and shooting him while two bystanders stand nearby.
The suspect then returns to his truck to get the AR-15 and walks back towards the street.
Footage ends before Hurley confronts the suspect, and the shootings of Troyke and Hurley are not shown.
“It is finally clear that the suspect is responsible for this tragic sequence,” said a statement from the Arvada police.
Police released excerpts from a document Troyke had written in which he promised to kill as many officers as possible.
“We, the people, were never your enemy, but now we are” and “Hundreds of you pigs should be killed every day,” the document says in part, according to police.
“Today I’m going to kill as many Arvada officers as possible … I just hope I don’t die without killing one of you pigs.”
Just before the deadly shootings, Troyke’s brother called the police and told them he was “going to do something crazy”. Beesley and another police officer went to Troyke’s house but no one was home, police said.
A teenage boy called the police to report that an elderly man walked up to him, made a strange noise, and showed him a condom in the downtown suburb.
Beesley was killed within moments of answering that call, the video showed.
Hurley – who has been described by friends as a local political activist fighting police brutality, as well as a cook and musician – was reportedly shopping at the Army Navy Surplus store when he heard gunfire and ran to confront Troyke.
“He did not hesitate; he didn’t stand and think about it. He heard the shots totally, went to the door, saw the shooter and immediately ran in that direction, “said shop clerk Bill Troyanos the Denver news channel KMGH-TV.
Hurley’s family released a statement on Friday remembering their loved one and asking for privacy, the broadcaster said.
“Our beloved son and brother Johnny is no more. We loved him very much. Rest in peace. Before Johnny reacted to a bad situation with clear eyes, he was already a wonderful person with a great zest for life. “
With postal wires
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