ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– Arvada police released edited video and statements on Friday to explain the events of Monday afternoon in Olde Town Arvada. Among the new information, it was made clear that Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley was shot without warning. Police also confirmed that good Samaritan Johnny Hurley was shot by an Arvada Police Officer.
In addition, there was more about the rantings of killer Ronald Troyke, including statements in a document recovered after the killings in which Troyke wrote, “My goal today is to kill Arvada PD officers,” plus, “We the people were never your enemy, but we are now,” and “Hundreds of you pigs should be killed daily.”
What precipitated such statements has not been released, if even known. But Troyke’s brother contacted police early Monday afternoon asking them for a welfare check on him because he was concerned Ronald would,” do something crazy.” Beesley and another officer went to his apartment in Arvada and did not find him.
But only about 10 minutes later Troyke showed up as Beesley was answering an unrelated suspicious person call near Arvada’s Olde Town Square. Video shared by police shows Troyke in a brown truck, pulling up behind the library, getting out with a shotgun and running after Beesley.
“Within seconds he was brutally ambushed and murdered by someone who expressed hatred for police officers,” said Arvada chief Link Strate in a police department-produced video release.
Police say Troyke yelled at Beesley and as the officer turned, fired twice. Beesley had no opportunity to defend himself. Troyke then shot out the windows of nearby police cars and fired in the air as people nearby scrambled for safety. He then returned to his truck and pulled out an AR-15 and began walking back toward the square.
The video released by police stops before good Samaritan Johnny Hurley comes into view or shoots Troyke as police say he did. Witnesses have said Hurley ran out of the Army-Navy store and across the square toward Troyke. He shot Troyke with a pistol. It is unclear whether Hurley had a concealed carry permit. The Jefferson County Sheriff has no record of a permit. Hurley lived in Golden.
Hurley picked up the AR-15 after shooting Troyke.
“What happened next was equally tragic. A responding Arvada officer encountered Mr. Hurley who was holding a rifle and our officer shot him,” said Strate in the video release.
In a statement, police said they would make no further comment on the Critical Incident Response Team Investigation. There was no information on whether Hurley was warned to drop the weapon. An Arvada officer is on leave during the investigation.
Strate did pay tribute to Hurley, “The threat to our officers and our community was stopped by a hero named Johnny Hurley. Johnny’s actions can only be described as decisive, courageous and effective in stopping further loss of life… It is clear that Mr. Hurley intervened in an active shooting that unfolded quickly in a busy commercial area in the middle of the day. And he did so without hesitation. Mr. Hurley’s actions saved others from serious injury or death.”
Hurley’s family Friday also released a statement, through the office of District Attorney Alexis King. The family called him a beloved son who was loved dearly. Also, “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.”