TRAGIC – Hero who stopped Colorado gunman shot dead by police in case of mistaken identity

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The New York Post:

Colorado police on Friday explained how a heroic bystander who had just shot and killed a cop-hating gunman was himself fatally struck by a responding officer.

Johnny Hurley, 40, was shopping in downtown Arvada, a Denver suburb, when he heard Ronald Troyke ambush and murder Officer Gordon Beesley, who was responding to a call Monday afternoon, officials said.

Troyke, 59, then returned to his truck to grab an AR-15, and was holding it when Hurley — who was carrying a concealed weapon — confronted him and shot him dead, Police Chief Link Strate said in a video clip posted Friday.

But when another officer responded to the scene, he saw Hurley holding the suspect’s rifle — and tragically mistook the good Samaritan for the cop killer, fatally shooting him, Strate said.

“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.

“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 unnamed cop who gunned down Hurley was placed on administrative leave as independent law enforcement agencies investigate whether he should be charged with a crime.

Security footage released by police on Friday shows Troyke running after Beesley in a parking lot and shooting him, as two bystanders stand near by.

Ronald Troyke with his AR-15, locating and running after Officer Beesley, before shooting him with the automatic rife. Arvada Police Department

The suspect is then seen returning to his truck to get the AR-15 and walking back towards the street.

The footage ends before Hurley confronts the suspect, and the shooting deaths of Troyke and Hurley are not shown.

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