The Arvada Police Department has released a video detailing the timeline of the deadly Olde Town Arvada shooting on June 21. (Warning: This video contains graphic content.)
An Arvada police officer shot and killed by a gunman Monday was chased down in an alleyway before the shooter opened fire.
A video released by Arvada police Friday afternoon shows Ronald Troyke dressed in black run to his truck and grab a second weapon, a semi-automatic rife, and head toward the nearby plaza after the officer died.
Gordon Beesley, a 19-year veteran of the department, died along with bystander Johnny Hurley, who police called a hero Friday.?
Police confirmed that Hurley died in “a second tragedy” when he was shot by a responding officer as he held Troyke’s rifle. Sources close to the investigation told The Gazette Hurley had been emptying ammunition from Troyke’s rifle before he was shot.
A video released by Arvada police Friday showed Beesley walked calmly through an alley toward the Old Towne Arvada plaza when a dark-colored truck pulled up behind him. As the video continued, Troyke jumped from the truck brandishing a shotgun.
Troyke is shown running after Beesley and calling to him. Beesley didn’t reach for his pistol as he turned. That’s when the video showed Troyke open fire. On the video, Troyke next returned to his truck, grabbed a semi-automatic rifle, and swiftly returned to the plaza at 57th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth Boulevard. The video narration said that Troyke shot through several patrol car windows as he went.
What happened next has been the subject of speculation this week. The video narration explains that when Troyke reached the plaza, he was shot by a bystander, Johnny Hurley, with a pistol. In a video statement accompanying the surveillance footage, Arvada Police Chief Link Strate hails Hurley’s actions as “decisive, courageous and effective in stopping further loss of life.”
Hurley, 40, had been shopping at the nearby Arvada Army Navy Surplus Store. Witnesses said Hurley ran outside with his weapon and hid behind a brick wall. Though the Arvada Police Department has not said who shot whom, witnesses said that Hurley then shot Troyke, killing him.
According to the video press release, Beesley was responding to a 1:17 p.m. 911 call made by a teenager who reported an older man making strange noises and brandishing a condom. The time stamp on the surveillance video as Troyke’s truck pulled up behind Beesley showed 1:34 pm.
For the first time, Arvada chief Strate acknowledged a responding police officer fatally shot Hurley. That officer is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a review. According to sources, the officer, whose name hasn’t been released, was interviewed by the Critical Incident Response Team Thursday. The team is led by 1st Judicial District Attorney Alexis King.
Ellis Armistead, a former Lakewood police officer who now works as an private investigator said it is hard for police responding to a shooting as chaotic as the one in Arvada to differentiate an armed bystander from a dangerous gunman.
”Remember this all happened in seconds,” he said. “You can clear a rifle with the barrel pointed down or up or holding it at your waist, but even considering the position of the rifle, if you see a guy standing over a corpse with a rifle, it’s easy to confuse the bad guy with the good guy.”
Lawyer Ryan Brackley, a former assistant district attorney in Boulder and Denver, says he has seen investigations as complex as the Aravada case take months before there is a decision as to whether to charge an officer.
”In every scenario of an officer-involved shooting, there is a thorough review by a multi-jurisdictional team,” he said. “They consult with family and witnesses. Even in the most obvious cases, it usually takes months before there’s a decision as to whether to charge a police officer.”
Law Enforcement accountability has taken a front seat in the United States since last summer’s George Floyd protests. In April, 2020, Governor Jared Polis signed the Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity Bill, which requires more transparency in how Colorado police and sheriffs departments report their operations. The law requires law enforcement agencies to gather and report more information about what they do including detailed accounts on use of force situations that result in serious bodily injury or death, on instances when an officer resigns while under investigation for misconduct and demographic data on street stops and use of force incidents.
By July 1, 2023, the state’s Division of Criminal Justice is required to create an annual report and a statewide database which must be accessible by the public. If these agencies refuse to comply, they may risk losing their funding.
Also by July of 2023, all Colorado police and sheriff’s departments will be required to wear body cameras. The video showing the shooting released Friday came from a camera at a nearby business, officials said.
Arvada police released excerpts of a four-page letter left by Troyke and found after the incident. Among his sentiments, police said, were? “hundreds of you pigs should be killed daily,” and “today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can.”
Strate Friday said Beesley “was a friend, a brother, a partner and part of us.”
”He will be immensely missed but never forgotten,” the chief said.
Hurley’s family said in a statement Friday that the bystander called out injustice when he saw it and that he gave a clear-eyed “response to a dire situation.”
The statement, put out by the King’s office, said Hurley was a “wonderful human being with a great zest for life”
”Our beloved son and brother Johnny is no more.”