No charges for Arvada Colorado police officer who shot dead Good Samaritan John Hurley. Prosecutors decline to charge Officer Kraig Brownlow who shot dead civilian who moments earlier had shot dead, Ronald Troyke who had planned to go on a mass shooting rampage.
Officer Kraig Brownlow avoided prosecution for killing John Hurley on June 21 after a thorough investigation, Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King said Monday.
Hurley, 40, was shopping in a store in suburban Arvada, when Ronald Troyke, 59, – dressed all in black and carrying and AR-style rifle – shot and killed police officer Gordon Beesley, 51.
Hurley rushed out of the store to grab his gun and killed Troyke. He then picked up the killer’s military rifle as Brownlow arrived on the scene and mistook him for an active shooter.
‘The officer here had objectively reasonable grounds to believe, and did believe, he and other people were in imminent danger of being killed that day,’ said King at a news conference.
‘The officer saw a mass shooter, heard many rounds of gunfire in broad daylight in the heart of Olde Town Arvada. … Thus, the decision to shoot John Hurley was legally justified despite his heroic actions that day.’
Brownlow has been on paid administrative leave since the incident. It is unclear when or if he will be allowed to return.
‘Right now, we don’t know,’ David Snelling, spokesman with the Arvada Police Department, told the Denver Gazette. ‘That’s up to him.’
A four-page screed written by Troyke and found at his home after the mass murder attempt stated that his intention was to ‘kill as many Arvada officers as [he] possibly [could].’
‘My goal today is to kill Arvada PD officers,’ read part of the letter uncovered in Troyke’s home .
‘Hundreds of you pigs should be killed daily,’ he added. ‘I just hope I don’t die without killing any of you pigs.’
The letter continues: ‘Today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can’.
Hurley’s shooting death at the hands of police lead to an investigation by outside agencies, which then handed the evidence over to the District Attorney’s office. More than 3,200 photos and 1,180 documents were reviewed, King said, to determine that Brownlow should not face charges.
During Monday’s press conference, Kind hailed Hurley as a hero: ‘had he survived, we would have praised his bravery in engaging a mass shooter before anyone else was killed,’ she said.
‘He acted to defend others and we will remember him for his selflessness.’
In a statement, Hurley’s mother said she imagined many people would be angry about the decision. Instead of acting on their anger she encouraged them to ‘use that energy to be the change you wish to see in the world.’
‘I pray none of us will have to face a situation such as Johnny did, but as we pull ourselves together to move forward in life, consider using Johnny’s commitment to doing the right thing even at the greatest cost to inspire your own actions,’ she wrote.
According to his Facebook page, Hurley was a classically trained cook. After the Commissary declared bankruptcy, Hurley took on jobs at a piano-moving company and an arcade, reported Fox 31.
Cop killer arrested for DWI in 1994
Long-time friend Cody Soules described him in a statement as ‘an outspoken activist’ who wanted to help people in his community.
Hurley’s former co-worker Cole Crocker told Fox 31 that he was dedicated, passionate and caring.
‘Johnny was the kind of guy that would think of everyone but himself first, always,’ he said.
An autopsy report, released in September, determined that Hurley was killed by a single gunshot to the pelvis. His manner of death was labeled as homicide.
Hurley’s family set up a GoFundMe to pay for his funeral costs and other expenses, which has raised over $92K as of Tuesday .
Officer Beesley was a school resource officer with a reputation for taking a compassionate approach with students.
Beesley was a 19-year veteran of the Arvada Police Department, working as a patrol officer and as a motorcycle traffic officer before working as a school resource officer. He is survived by wife Karen and their two children.
According to court records cited by The Denver Post, Troyke was convicted of third-degree assault in 1992 and DWI in 1994.
Troyke also experienced financial problems during the past 30 years, with federal bankruptcy court records showing he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 1992 and 2013. And Jefferson County court records show he was evicted in 1995 and sued in 1996 over a debt by a property management company.
There is no indication that Troyke had had any major run-ins with the law over the past 27 years prior to the events of June 21.