• Original Reporting
  • Sources Cited
Original Reporting This article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). This includes directly interviewing sources and research / analysis of primary source documents.
Sources Cited As a news piece, this article cites verifiable, third-party sources which have all been thoroughly fact-checked and deemed credible by the Newsroom in accordance with the Civil Constitution.
A photo from the scene of a shooting in Olde Town Arvada. (Ryan Dunn, Colorado Community Media)

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.

Officer Gordon Beesley. (Arvada Police Department)

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.

The Colorado Sun —

Desk: 720-432-2229

Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage.

A Colorado College graduate, Jesse worked at The Denver Post from June 2014 until July 2018, when he joined The Sun. He was also an intern at The Gazette in Colorado Springs and The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, his hometown.

Jesse has won awards for long form feature writing, public service reporting, sustained coverage and deadline news reporting.

Email: Twitter: @jesseapaul