Slain Colorado Armed Citizen Hailed As Hero In Arvada Shooting - Update: Shot By Police?

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While many of the details surrounding a shooting in the Denver suburb of Arvada, Colorado have not yet been released, it’s become clear that a man described by police as a “Good Samaritan” was in actuality an armed citizen who opened fire on a suspect who had just murdered a law enforcement officer in an ambush attack.


Officer Gordon Beesley, a beloved school resource officer in the community, was shot and killed on Monday afternoon, and police believe the suspect targeted the police officer because of his uniform and badge. 40-year old John Hurley, of Golden, Colorado, was also shot and killed by the suspect, but it sounds like before he died, Hurley may have fired the shots that killed the suspect and put an end to what officers believe could have ended up as rampage costing more lives.

Hurley used a gun to try and stop the violence. The chief paid tribute to Hurley as well on Tuesday.

“He is a true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life,” Strate said.

Police left out details about how they believe all the shooting went down.

On Hurley’s death, department Det. Dave Snelling replied to our inquiry with the statement, “Details we can’t release… the DA has asked us to refrain from details.”

Now, I have no idea why the local prosecutor has requested that police not release details of the shooting, but there is a part of me that wonders if Jefferson County DA Alexis King’s support for gun control may have something to do with it. When King, who was elected District Attorney last November, was asked about her views on gun control while running for office, she called it a “critical issue,” and it wouldn’t shock me if King wanted to downplay the actions of an armed citizen while her fellow Democrats are imposing new gun control laws across the state; including a repeal of Colorado’s firearm preemption laws that will allow localities like Arvada to impose their own gun bans and other anti-gun ordinances.


Still, King has also called for greater transparency in the criminal justice system, so she owes it to the people that she serves to release any pertinent information regarding this shooting as soon as possible. Based on the limited information that King has allowed to be released to the public, however, it’s reasonable to conclude that Hurley managed to shoot the suspect before losing his own life.

Certainly many locals view Hurley has a hero, even if the local DA is keeping the details of his actions from the public for now.

People came Tuesday afternoon to pay tribute to Beesley like 15-year-old Colton Bliss and his mother and father.

“I hope more people are like him,” said Colton.

He volunteers at the library and his mother works there. They took refuge yesterday as they heard the shooting. His mother noted Hurley’s actions by saying, “We don’t have enough good Samaritans out there that would jump in where you don’t know what’s going on, where it’s coming from… to save hundreds of people so, I’m very grateful.”

Those of us who carry on a regular basis know that having a gun doesn’t mean we can’t be the victim of a violent crime, or that we’ll even be able to act in self-defense if we are attacked. Most of us also believe, though, that if we do have the opportunity to try to stop an act of violence from taking place, we should do so. Gun control activists love to portray the tens of millions of Americans who lawfully carry a firearm as rootin-tootin yahoos, but in truth there are a lot of John Hurleys out there; responsible gun owners who are willing to risk their own lives in defense of others.


A GoFundMe has been established to help the Hurley family with funeral expenses, and if you’d like to pay tribute to this fallen hero you can donate here.


Late Thursday evening Denver’s ABC affiliate offered another reason why local law enforcement may be reluctant about revealing details of the shooting in Arvada; anonymous sources say that Hurley was shot and killed by police.

The Good Samaritan who died in Monday’s shooting in Olde Town Arvada was shot and killed by a police bullet, Denver7 Chief Investigator Tony Kovaleski has confirmed through three informed, ranking sources — including two law enforcement sources.

Arvada Police Officer Gordon BeesleyGood 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.

… 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.”


It’s clear that John Hurley acted heroically in defense of others, but it’s time for law enforcement to share the rest of what they know about the details of this shooting.

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