During a Colorado shooting spree this week, John Hurley died a “true hero.” He likely saved other people’s lives while sacrificing his own, Arvada police reported. The Arvada police chief, Link Strate, provided little detail of Hurley’s involvement in the shooting.
“He is a true hero and likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life,” Strate said. The suspected gunman also died in the shooting, but not before shooting and killing Officer Gordon Beesley.
Police speculate that the shooting was specifically meant to target Officer Beesley. Authorities are still working to determine the motive. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the suspect as Ronald Troyke, 59, and said he was killed by multiple gunshot wounds.
The man who put his life on the line and lost it for other Colorado citizens was “a loyal and hard-working” man, said Cody Souels, a longtime friend of Hurley.
The late Officer Beesley was a married father of two and a 19-year veteran of the Arvada department. He served as a school resource officer at Oberon Middle School but was working patrol and motorcycle traffic duty while schools were out for the summer.
According to his bio, he played the drums in a band and enjoyed hiking, biking, skiing and camping with his family. His motto: “Look for the good in every day.” David Rupert, a counselor at Oberon Middle School, told the local CBS station that Beesley was among his best friends and an “incredible man” who found joy in helping others. Rupert says that his most vivid memory of the late officer is when Beesley created a bond with a young student who feared police officers.
One student, who was positively impacted by Officer Beesley, said that “he loved everybody. He helped me through bullying, and he was the kind of person that would literally give you lunch money.”
“It is with heavy hearts we send our condolences to the Beesley family and the Arvada Police Department,” Jefferson County Public Schools said in a statement. “Officer Beesley served as school resource officer … for over 10 years as a deeply valued school and community partner. We honor and thank him for his dedication to our students, school, district, and community. He will be missed.”
Officer Beesley and Hurley weren’t the only ones lost in a shooting this year. Two hundred forty seven mass shootings have occurred since the beginning of 2021. Last month, about 80 miles south of the city, six people died in a shooting at a Colorado Springs birthday party, police said.
Colorado has the sixth-highest rate of public mass killings. The 1999 Columbine High School shooting is one of the best known. Then again in 2012 there was a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora. There was also a tragic incident in 2015 at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.