Story at a glance:

  • Police are calling a man a hero for shooting a gunman.
  • The man was then shot by police who mistook him for the gunman.
  • The man’s family is opening a third-party investigation.

Police are hailing a man who shot and killed a gunman and was then shot and killed by police as a hero.  

John Hurley, 40, drew a handgun and shot and killed Ronald Troyke last Monday in Arvada, Colo., The Guardian reported. Troyke, 59, was reportedly on the move to kill police officers, having already shot and killed Officer Gordon Beesley. 

After shooting Beesley, Troyke then armed himself with an AR-15. That’s when Hurley saw Troyke and shot and killed him. 

What followed next was unfortunate for the town’s hero.

Hurley picked up Troyke’s weapon, when officers arrived at the scene and shot him mistakenly. 

"A responding Arvada officer encountered Mr Hurley, who was holding a rifle. And our officer shot him," Arvada police chief, Link Strate, said.

Strate called the situation "tragic."


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"The threat to our officers and our community was stopped by a hero named Johnny Hurley," Strate said in a statement. “"Johnny’s actions can only be described as decisive, courageous and effective in stopping further loss of life."

Hurley’s family says they are thankful for the support they received from the city, and they are also waiting on a third-party investigation to be concluded, according to The Guardian.

Hurley’s death was caught on a security camera.

Police say they recovered a note from Troyke that specifically threatened the Avada Police Department. 

"Today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can," it read. "This is what you get, you are the people who are expendable … I just hope I don’t die without killing any of you pigs."

Colorado is an "open-carry" state, meaning residents can "acquire, possess, and make use of a firearm for self-defense and protection of your property."

The Arvada mayor, Marc Williams, told Denver 7: "We’ll learn from others as to some things we ought to do, some things we maybe shouldn’t do."


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Published on Jun 29, 2021