DENVER (KMGH) – The good Samaritan who died in Monday’s shooting in Olde Town Arvada, Colorado, was shot and killed by a police bullet, KMGH Chief Investigator Tony Kovaleski has confirmed through three informed, ranking sources — including two law enforcement sources.
Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley, good Samaritan John Hurley, and the man believed to be the suspect in the original shooting, 59-year-old Ronald Troyke, all died in the shooting, but Arvada police have not said who was shot by whom.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the Arvada Police Department said it would not confirm that Hurley was shot by an officer. They did confirm earlier in the afternoon that Troyke left a threatening note for officers.
"We will not confirm until the investigation team finishes its interviews and reviews forensic information," the department said.
Arvada Police Chief Link Strate said in a news conference Tuesday that Hurley was “a true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life,” in the shooting near the Arvada Library Monday, but he did not elaborate at the time.
Tuesday evening, a man who witnessed the shooting, who was working in the nearby Arvada Army Navy Surplus store at the time, said he saw Hurley shoot at Troyke after Hurley watched Troyke allegedly shoot Officer Beesley.
The witness, Bill Troyanos, said he also saw Hurley being taken from the scene on a stretcher.
“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.”
A friend of Hurley’s described him as a man who “would give you the shirt off his back.”
“He was an outspoken activist and wanted to help people create change in his community,” said Cody Soules.
Arvada Deputy Police Chief Ed Brady said Monday that Beesley, a school resource officer who was working foot patrol in Olde Town this summer while school was on break, responded to a call about a suspicious incident outside the library around 1:15 p.m. Monday. Around 15 minutes later, people called dispatch to report an officer had been shot, Brady said.
Chief Strate said Tuesday Beesley had been “ambushed” by a person “who expressed hatred of police officers” and because “he was wearing an Arvada Police uniform and badge,” but the chief did not elaborate on those statements.
Officials said Tuesday there were separate investigations into the shooting, including one involving the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office’s Critical Incident Response Team.
Arvada police officers do not currently wear body cameras, but the department has started the process to implement their use by 2023 in accordance with a new state law passed last year. It is currently unclear how many officers responded to the scene and what transpired in the moments during and surrounding the shooting of Beesley, Hurley and Troyke.