A police officer fatally shot in Olde Town Arvada on Monday afternoon was targeted in an ambush-style attack because he was wearing his uniform, according to the Arvada Police Department’s chief.
Chief Link Strate said that the suspected shooter, 59-year-old Ronald Troyke, expressed hatred toward law enforcement.
Strate declined to provide more details about the suspect’s motive during a brief news conference on Tuesday.
Officer Gordon Beesley was killed, as was the shooter. Authorities declined to say who shot the suspect.
“Gordon was targeted because he was wearing an Arvada police uniform and a badge,” Strate said.
A third person, a 40-year-old man from Golden, was also shot and killed. He was identified on Monday as John Hurley.
Strate said he believes the attack was an isolated incident and that the Arvada community is safe from further violence.
Strate said Hurley, described as a good Samaritan, intervened and likely prevented more bloodshed, but he declined to provide more information. Authorities don’t believe there was any connection between Hurley and the shooter.
“He is a true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life,” Strate said of Hurley.
The shooting happened in the area of Olde Town Arvada Square, which is in the middle of a popular shopping and entertainment district northwest of Denver, at about 2 p.m. on Monday. Police say they were called to investigate a suspicious person in the square just before the shooting happened.
The shooting sent people in the area scrambling for cover.
The last Arvada police officer killed in the line of duty died in 1979.
Beesley was a 19-year veteran of the Arvada Police Department. He was a school resource officer working a patrol shift because classes are out for summer break.