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Crime and Courts

Three people killed — including police officer, suspect — in Olde Town Arvada shooting

The slain policeman was identified as Gordon Beesley, who was killed after police were called to check out a suspicious person in Arvada's Olde Town Square

A photo from the scene of a shooting in Olde Town Arvada. (Ryan Dunn, Colorado Community Media)
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ARVADA —Three people were killed, including a veteran police officer and the suspected gunman, in a shooting in Olde Town Arvada on Monday afternoon.

Gunfire broke out in the popular shopping and entertainment district northwest of Denver at about 1:30 p.m. The shooting happened after police were called to check out a suspicious person in Arvada’s Olde Town Square in the area of West 57th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth Boulevard.

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“There is no threat to the public at this point,” Ed Brady, the deputy chief of the Arvada Police Department, said at a brief news conference late Monday afternoon. “We are not searching for anyone else.”

The police officer who died was identified Monday night as Officer Gordon Beesley. The names of the two other people killed were not released during the media briefing. Brady described the third victim as a “Samaritan.”

Officer Gordon Beesley. (Handout)

Brady did not elaborate on the suspicious-person call that preceded the shooting.

“This is an active investigation with many moving pieces,” Brady said.

Arvada police said they would not hold another news conference until Tuesday.

Olde Town Arvada is home to a growing shopping and entertainment district. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Television news helicopter footage showed a swarm of law enforcement officers in the area after the shooting, which happened as people were outdoors enjoying the first day of summer.

A photo from the scene of a shooting in Olde Town Arvada. (Ryan Dunn, Colorado Community Media)

Alex Reid, production manager for Rheinlander Bakery, across the street from Arvada’s Olde Town Square, said he was working in the bakery when he heard what sounded like a firecracker go off, followed by two more loud noises.  Reid said it sounded like the shots were coming from the town square area at 57th and Olde Wadsworth, just west of the library.

Reid said his staff moved quickly to usher employees, customers and passersby into a secluded stock room further inside the building. The group barricaded themselves in the room and waited for police to arrive before moving everyone out of the back of the bakery and to safety.

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Kami Welch, president of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce, said shots were fired at about 1:50 p.m. less than a block away from the chamber’s Olde Town offices. Welch and her staff went into the basement of their building and stayed there for about an hour.

The last time an Arvada Police Department officer was killed in the line of duty it was Aug. 13, 1979, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Officer Walter Michael Northey died on that date after he was struck by a vehicle.

Beesley worked as a school resource officer at Oberon Middle School. He worked at the Arvada Police Department for 19 years.

Beesley is the second police officer killed in the line of duty in Colorado this year. The first was on March 22, when a gunman killed 10 people inside a Boulder King Soopers store, including Officer Eric Talley.

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