Police officials in a suburb of Denver, Colo., were forced to explain how one of their officers shot and killed a man after he confronted and took down an armed suspect who just ambushed and killed another officer.
According to reports, 40-year-old Johnny Hurley was in downtown Arvada shopping on Friday when Ronald Troyke, 59, ambushed and killed Gordon Beesley, a police officer who was responding to a call on Monday afternoon.
After he shot and killed Beesley, Trokye went back to his pickup truck and retrieved an AR-15 style rifle. Hurley, who was carrying a concealed handgun, then confronted Trokye as he held the rifle, shooting him dead as well, according to an explanation from Police Chief Link Strate in a video posted online.
However, another officer responding to the shootings arrived to find Hurley holding the murder suspect’s rifle and mistook him for murdering the officer, fatally shooting him, Strate explained.
“Officer Beesley was responding to a call in the area of Olde Town Arvada, and within seconds he was brutally ambushed and murdered by someone who expressed hatred towards police officers,” Strate said in the video.
“The threat to our officers and our community was stopped by a hero named Johnny Hurley,” Strate said. “Johnny’s actions can only be described as decisive, courageous and effective in stopping further loss of life.”
The officer who killed Hurley has been placed on administrative leave, as per department protocol, as the incident is investigated by outside law enforcement agencies to see if he should be criminally charged.
Also Friday, police released security footage that shows Troyke parking his truck as Officer Beesley is walking away from him, then getting out with a rifle and chasing down and firing on unsuspecting Beesley as two bystanders look on.
With the bystanders fleeing, Trokye disappears behind a building, then reappears and calmly walks back to his truck to retrieve the AR-15-style weapon. He then walks back towards Beesley as the video ends — before Hurley confronts him.
The actual shootings of Beesley, Troyke, and Hurley are not shown in the video clip released by police.
“Finally, it is clear that the suspect bears responsibility for this tragic sequence of events,” the Arvada Police Department said in a statement.
The department also released a document written by Troyke in which he vows to kill as many police officers as possible.
“We the people were never your enemy, but we are now,” he wrote, adding that “hundreds of you pigs should be killed daily,” according to a released excerpt.
“Today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can … I just hope I don’t die without killing any of you pigs.”
Troyke’s brother phoned the department shortly before he ambushed Beesley to tell officers Ronald was out to “do something crazy,” according to the New York Post. Police said Beesley and another officer were dispatched to Troyke’s home but did not find anyone home.
Shortly thereafter, a teenager called cops to say “that an older man approached him, made a weird noise and showed him a condom in the suburb’s downtown district,” The Post added.
Moments later after responding to that call, Beesley was gunned down.
Described by pals as a political activist opposed to police brutality, Hurley was said to have been shopping at the Army Navy Surplus store in the ‘burb when he heard shots and ran out to see what had happened.
“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,” Bill Troyanos, a store employee, said in an interview with KMGH-TV.
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