ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – The First Judicial District Attorney, Alexis King, will not charge a police officer in the deadly shooting of a hero. Arvada police officer Gordon Beesley and citizen Johnny Hurley were both shot and killed.
The chaos started when people called 911 to report an officer was shot in Olde Town Arvada. Officer Beesley responded and was shot by the suspect, Ronald Troyke. Arvada police say the man who shot and killed one of their own “hated” police officers.
“We hope our decision not to file charges will bring a small piece of closure to those affected and that in this finality there is some healing,” King said.
Hurley was at a local store when he heard gunshots and ran outside. He engaged with Troyke, shooting and killing him. Three Arvada officers were in a nearby office building. They heard the initial gunshots and saw the shooter, Troyke, head to his car then return to the square.
Hurley shot Troyke, but the next time officers saw someone with an AR style rifle, it was in Hurley’s hands.
“The officers had almost an opportunity to engage the man in black but they never had a clear shot. And when John Hurley came into view they had a clear shot. He was armed with both the AR and a handgun. And he was facing towards the square just seconds after they had last seen the man in black,” King said. “This officer believed and had reasonable grounds to believe that John Hurley was a second mass shooter and he really only had a moment to safely engaging before putting others potentially at risk.”
The district attorney announced they will not file criminal charges against the officer involved in the deadly shooting of Hurley.
“The officer here had objectively reasonable grounds to believe and did believe that he and other people were in imminent danger of being killed that day,” King said.
She says her office praises Hurley’s actions.
“We will remember him for his selflessness,” she said. “We lost two people when the mass shooter brought violence to Olde Town Arvada.”
The officer has been on paid leave since the shooting. The investigation took 140 days and he is now expected to rejoin the force.
The City of Arvada issued a statement saying in part, “This incident illustrates the nearly unfathomable decisions society asks our police officers to make as they go about their everyday work.”
King called the decision a “profound responsibility” and hoped it would bring healing to the community. She says her office reviewed mounds of evidence including 3,200 photographs.
“Over 1,000 pages of reports by the Lakewood Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Wheat Ridge Police Department, Golden Police Department and other local and federal law enforcement agencies,” she said.
According to the DA’s office, the officer saw Hurley handling a rifle while he holstered a handgun. The officer opened a door, took aim at Hurley and fired three shots.
The district attorney’s office received a report from the Critical Incident Response Team led by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 9.
“As with any case where criminal charges are considered, we want to arrive at the right decision based on the law and the evidence,” the office stated in response to a protest demanding answers in late September.
Hurley’s mother released the following statement provided by her attorney:
I want to thank the community of Arvada and the nation as a whole for the outpouring of love that you have given to my daughter and me over these past difficult months. This support and love has allowed our family to persevere as we struggle to come to terms with Johnny’s final act of heroism. I also know that many others and the community share in our pain and I honor that grief.
I imagine that many people are angry and that is understandable. I would ask that instead of acting out on your anger, that you use that energy to be the change you wish to see in the world. Engage in meaningful conversations that might make a difference in how we all may move forward together.
I pray none of us will have to face a situation such as Johnny did, but as we pull ourselves together to move forward in life, consider using Johnny’s commitment to doing the right thing even at the greatest cost to inspire your own actions.
-Kathleen Boleyn, the mother of Johnny Hurley