A passerby who intervened in the shooting of a police officer in Colorado on Monday by shooting the gunman was himself fatally shot by an intervening police officer, authorities said on Friday.
The Arvada, Colo. Police Department just outside Denver on Friday shared a timeline describing what Police Chief Link Strate described as a tragic sequence of events that led to the death of a Good Samaritan and a police officer.
Police said they responded to a call from a suspicious person in the old town of Arvada, a downtown area with shops, restaurants and bars, at 1:31 p.m. local time on Monday.
A teenager reported that an older man approached him, “made a strange noise and showed them a condom,” Chief Strate said in a video.
Constable Gordon Beesley met the man, identified by authorities as Ronald Troyke, 59, who had a shotgun. Police said Mr Troyke ran after Constable Beesley and shot him twice, adding Constable Beesley either did not take his gun or had time to defend himself.
Officer Beesley was “brutally ambushed and murdered by someone who expressed hatred for the police,” Chief Strate said, adding: “What happened next is just as tragic”.
Mr. Troyke returned to his truck to retrieve an AR-15, police said. He then returned to the plaza, where he was confronted by passerby, Johnny Hurley, 40, who shot him with a handgun, police said.
“Almost immediately after” Mr. Hurley shot Mr. Troyke, a response officer encountered Mr. Hurley, who was now holding the AR-15, and shot him, Chief Strate said.
“We lost two heroes on June 21,” said Chief Strate, referring to Mr Hurley and Agent Beesley, who had worked for the department for 19 years and who was 2014’s Employee of the Year. ‘Arvada.
“Now, more than ever, we must unite and support each other during this difficult time,” Mayor Marc Williams and city council said in a statement. “We will follow Agent Beesley’s lead and continue to find and develop what is good in our community. “
Chief Strate said Mr Hurley’s actions saved lives and what he did “can only be described as decisive, courageous and effective”.
“Mr. Hurley intervened in an active shooting that unfolded quickly,” Chief Strate said. “He did so without hesitation.
Authorities did not say who shot Mr. Hurley.
Police said Mr Troyke’s brother called authorities before 1 p.m. Monday to ask them to watch his brother because he was “going to do something crazy”.
Two officers arrived at Mr Troyke’s home within 20 minutes but were unable to contact him, according to schedule.
After the shooting, police said investigators found a document written by Mr Troyke in which he said his aim was to “kill as many officers from Arvada” as possible and that “hundreds of pigs should be killed every day “.
District Attorney Alexis King said in a statement Friday that “the full results of the investigation into Mr. Hurley’s death and all relevant facts will be known at the end of the investigation.”
A GoFundMe page for Mr. Hurley’s family created by Brian Romero said Mr. Hurley had lived and worked in Colorado his entire life.
“Johnny lived simply and had meager possessions,” Romero wrote. “He loved the outdoors, had a passion for food and cooking, and enjoyed spending time with his family, even briefly when possible.”
The message stated that Mr. Hurley was survived by his parents and a sister.