Crime

Stunning Reports About Olde Town Arvada Attack Hero Johnny Hurley

What the Arvada Police Department describes as the only photo of Johnny Hurley authorized by his family, and a look at one of the memorials to late Officer Gordon Beesley.
What the Arvada Police Department describes as the only photo of Johnny Hurley authorized by his family, and a look at one of the memorials to late Officer Gordon Beesley. Arvada Police Department/9News via YouTube
The Arvada Police Department continues to slow-roll information about the deadly Olde Town Arvada attack on June 21 that resulted in the deaths of Officer Gordon Beesley and Johnny Hurley, as well as alleged shooter Ronald Troyke.

The APD has now confirmed the presence of a note in Troyke's home that expressed hatred for police, which backs up Chief Link Strate's public assertion that Beesley was ambushed. But the department remains mum regarding witness suggestions that Hurley was the person who actually killed Troyke. Likewise, police are silent about an even more explosive report stating that Hurley was felled by a law enforcement bullet — in other words, friendly fire.

At 4:23 p.m. yesterday, June 23, Arvada police released what was characterized as an update about the shooting, which took place at around 1:30 p.m. on June 21 in Olde Town Square, near Arvada's main library, about fifteen minutes after the first call about Troyke. "We understand there are still several unanswered questions surrounding the incident on Monday," the release began. "We want to be as transparent as possible. We have not completed all of the witness interviews and we are waiting on forensic evidence. We hope in the next few days to have all of this information and we promise to provide that to our citizens."

The release added: "We owe a thorough and complete review of the incident to both Mr. Hurley’s family and Officer Gordon’s family. We are aware of information from the suspect, which clearly shows this suspect targeted and sought out to kill Arvada police officers. We cannot release any documents related to the open investigation at this time. If not for the heroic actions of Mr. Hurley and Arvada Police Officers on that day, more innocent lives would have been lost."

The APD also pointed out that Hurley preferred to go by "Johnny" rather than "John," and shared a link to a GoFundMe page authorized by his family. (Donations on behalf of Officer Beesley can be made via the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation.)

The introduction to the Hurley GoFundMe page confirms that Hurley "leaves behind a grieving family, including his parents and beloved sister.... Johnny lived simply and had meager possessions. He loved the outdoors, had a passion for food and cooking, and loved spending time with family even briefly when possible. His story is not making national news, as the officer involved was a 19 year veteran and beloved community member. Johnny was also a victim of senseless violence all too prevalent in today's society."

A letter posted June 23 on the Facebook page of the Arvada Army Navy Surplus store, located at 5701 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, offered a first-person account of Hurley's actions; employee Bill Troyanos subsequently told the same story to Denver7 and Fox31. "While we did not personally know John," it says, "we did recognize him as a regular customer. John pulled into our parking lot around 1:30 and was contemplatively smoking a cigarette near his car. When he finished his cigarette, he slowly walked into our store. Within under a minute upon John entering the store, 10-15 shots of what sounded like a rifle or tactical shotgun were fired in the square 50 yards away. Upon hearing these shots, John and another unknown customer unrelated to John went out of the open door toward the square with clear intent to eliminate the threat. While the unknown customer turned left to assess the situation without pulling out a weapon, John ran quickly without hesitation straight toward the shooter."

Hurley was armed, the letter asserts, and although Troyanos didn't see the subsequent action, the post continues: "We want to thank and recognize John as we believe that his actions saved more lives from being taken. He needs to be recognized by Arvada and all the citizens of Colorado for his brave and selfless actions. He went selflessly into harm’s way when the shooter had clear intent to continue his murderous spree."

As for Hurley's fate, Denver7 cites what it describes as "three informed, ranking sources, including two law enforcement sources" as stating that Hurley was "shot and killed by a police bullet."

There's no body camera footage of what happened; Arvada officers aren't currently wearing them, though the department is moving toward compliance with a 2020 police reform bill that makes the devices mandatory as of July 1, 2023.

In the meantime, an Arvada police officer is on administrative leave — standard procedure after a shooting.

Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King issued the following statement about the Critical Incident Response Team investigating the assault: "I extend my deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of Officer Gordon Beesley and John Hurley. Under my authority, Jefferson County’s multi-agency response team, helmed by highly qualified and trained personnel from across our law enforcement agencies, is currently conducting an independent and exhaustive investigation of [the] tragic events. Consistent with our ethical obligations, we will have no further comment pending the completion of the investigation."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts