GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Protestors showed up outside the offices of First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King on Thursday, calling for the completion of an investigation into the deadly shooting in Arvada’s Olde Town on June 21. They also called for the release of the video showing the shooting of Johnny Hurley, which Arvada police said happened after Hurley picked up an AR-15 that was used by the shooter who killed Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley.
Hurley shot and killed the shooter Ronald Troyke.
“If that actually is the case, show us the footage that he picked up the AR-15 and perhaps could be perceived as presenting a threat. Until they show that footage where he picked up the AR-15, like I’m inclined to be very skeptical of that claim,” said Joel Aigner, a friend of Hurley’s and part of a group identifying themselves as “We Are Change Colorado,” that Hurley was active with as well.
They say they are concerned about the honesty and integrity of the investigation.
“If it is in good faith, we still need to be able to see the accountability in order for any of us to feel there’s any kind of resolution to this, including Johnny’s family,” said Aigner.
A District Attorney’s office representative talked to the group, explaining that the video of the shooting of Hurley might be evidence if there were ever charges against the officer who shot him.
“I was really appreciative of that. They did give me somewhat of a hope that maybe they aren’t completely lying about this. Maybe there is a good reason why they’re not showing the video. Because to me it’s very odd to see a cop murdered on video and not see the heroic acts of Johnny Hurley on video,” said protestor Bruce Baumann.
The group says they believe in non-aggression, self-defense and truth. Hurley they explained, believed in very limited government, but was well trained with a concealed carry weapon he used to shoot Troyke.
The office of the District Attorney released a statement: “We welcome the community to voice their concerns and understand their desire for answers. It is our responsibility to perform a complete, thorough and independent review of all the evidence that was collected by the Critical Incident Response Team and turned over to our office on Sept. 9th. As with any case where criminal charges are considered, we want to arrive at the right decision based on the law and the evidence. Under Rules 3.6 and 3.8(f) of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct – a set of attorney regulations adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court – we are ethically prohibited from releasing any of the evidence or additional information at this time.”
Arvada Mayor Marc Williams is also looking for answers.
“Obviously there’s a general distrust of government, these days, throughout the nation, and unfortunately locally as well, and so, yes, I have heard people speculate that there’s a cover up going on, or there’s you know they’re trying to manufacture things or whatever to clear our officers,” said Williams. “I truly don’t believe that has happened and I frankly I know it hasn’t happened. but it anytime these things take this long there’s going to be conjecture, and unfortunately in today’s world that conjecture can turn very suspicious.”
Williams said he would like some indication from DA Alexis King.
“I’d like the DA to give us some expectation of how long her process is going to take now that she’s got the information.”
The office received a report from the Critical Incident Response Team led by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 9. There may be large amounts of evidence and witness reports to review.
Williams has his beliefs about what happened. He shared that he’s been told there was a lot of confusion in radio traffic at the time of the shooting and that it was indicated that there were two shooters. In fact, there were, cop killer Ronald Troyke and Hurley.
“Obviously, I’m biased. I believe this was a horrible tragic mistake in terms of the death of Johnny Hurley. And we feel very badly about that.”
What remains unanswered is whether police warned Hurley to drop the weapon he reportedly picked up after shooting Troyke, an AR-15. And did Hurley get appropriate medical care in a timely manner after taking one shot to the pelvis that the coroner says led to his death. No information has been released that would address either question.
The story about what happened and Johnny Hurley’s beliefs have never fit cleanly into an easy narrative.
“Johnny is not a ‘back the blue’ kind of guy. Like, we don’t just unquestionably back authority. You know, he was an anarchist,” explained Aigner, who says they were friends since their teenage years. “And was very agnostic at times of police actions. But he still gave his life that day to save the life of a police officer and any reasonable human being wants accountability for the actions that the police took that day.”
An explanation of what happened is still in the hands of the district attorney and possible charges there as well. Protestors said they would advocate what’s been called, “restorative justice,” a process of circling all involved to talk about what happened. And if the actions of the officer who shot Johnny Hurley were simply a mistake that could not have been prevented they were willing to lend understanding.
“We want that for everyone involved,” said protestor Alexis Kegel. “We want that officer to be able to return to work and not have ongoing trauma from a mistake they have made… that can reveal that it was a mistake, that can reveal what really happened. We need transparency first.”
Others in the group remarked that daylight might bring light on what happened to stop it from happening again.
Aigner said, “There needs to be adjustments to standard operating procedures for police and how they deal with potential concealed carriers that are stopping mass shootings and make sure that we don’t have somebody else that’s stopping mass shooting in the future, or that feels hesitant about stopping a mass shooting in the future because of what happened to Johnny. We don’t want to inhibit that kind of good Samaritan behavior.”