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Slain Colorado officer was 'ambushed,' police chief says

The police chief in Arvada said that the suspect targeted the officer, but few new details in Monday’s shooting were released.
Image: Arvada Procession of Honor
People line the street with flags during a procession in honor of an officer who was fatally shot in Arvada, Colo., on June 21, 2021.Colleen Slevin / AP

The Arvada, Colorado, police officer who was fatally shot Monday was "ambushed" by the gunman who was also killed, the police chief said.

Officer Gordon Beesley, who has been with the police department for almost 19 years, and John Hurley, 40, of Golden, who police called a good Samaritan, died Monday, but few new details about what occurred in the Denver-area city's historic Olde Town section were released. Police cited an ongoing investigation.

"Officer Beesley was ambushed by a person who expressed hatred of police officers,” Arvada Police Chief Link Strate said at a Tuesday news conference.

Strate also called Hurley "a true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life," but details about what Hurley did remained unclear Tuesday.

Ronald Troyke, 59, of Arvada, was identified Tuesday by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office as the suspect, who died in the incident.

"Detectives continue to work to determine what happened," Strate said.

Police responded to a call of a disturbance at Olde Town Square, in a historic district near a library, around 1:15 p.m., and 15 minutes later, the department received 911 calls that shots were fired and an officer was struck.

In addition to the criminal investigation being conducted by police, a "critical incident response team investigation" is also underway that will look at the actions of police, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said. That investigation is made up of law enforcement officials from across the county.

Attempts to locate and contact relatives of Troyke were not immediately successful Tuesday evening.