Arvada, CO – Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley was ambushed and murdered by an active shooter on Monday in the plaza at Olde Town Arvada.
The fatal shooting occurred just before 2 p.m. on June 21 in the suburban Denver shopping district near 57th and Old Wadsworth, KCNC reported.
Officials have not released details of what led up to the shooting but Arvada Police Chief Link Strate said Officer Beesley was targeted, NPR reported.
Chief Strate told reporters on June 22 that Officer Beesley was “ambushed by a person who expressed hatred of police officers.”
“I can tell you Gordon was targeted because he was wearing an Arvada police uniform and a badge,” he said. “While this was a deliberate act of violence, we still believe this was an isolated incident and our community is safe.”
After Officer Beesley was shot, a good Samaritan rushed out of a nearby surplus store and confronted the gunman.
Police said 40-year-old John Hurley fatally shot the officer’s killer – later identified as 59-year-old Ronald Troyke – and was also killed himself, KCNC reported.
Officer Beesley was a school resource officers with a reputation for being compassionate with struggling students, NPR reported.
The 19-year veteran of the Arvada Police Department was usually assigned to Oberon Middle School, but he was working patrol on the day he was killed because schools are closed for the summer, KCNC reported.
Before Officer Beesley became a school resource officer, he worked patrol and was a member of the police department’s motorcycle unit.
But before he went into law enforcement in 2002, Officer Beesley was the drummer in several popular bands on the Denver music scene, the Gazette reported.
He was the founding drummer in the well-known Railbenders, and also played with Brethren Fest, which was voted Colorado’s best rock/pop band twice at the annual Westword Music Awards Showcase, as well as a few other bands.
Sad day today, a friend of mine, Gordon Beesley, a police officer in Arvada, CO, and the drummer in my first Colorado band, DURT, was responding to suspicious activity yesterday and was killed in the line of duty. He was a great man; gentle, kind and funny. pic.twitter.com/WH4kz6p3eM
— Kyle Hollingsworth (@KyleOnKeys) June 22, 2021
School staff said it wasn’t unusual for the officer to share his musical talents to entertain or cheer up students and employees at the middle school.
Oberon Middle School lost a man that did it all. Video shared with me today shows Gordon Beesley, their School Resource Officer, taking a moment to cheer up school staff by singing Christmas carols. It wasn't uncommon for Beesley to share his musical talents during the day. @KDVR pic.twitter.com/ZGmuCndq7N
— Aimee Lewis (@aimee_lewisTV) June 22, 2021
Community members lined the streets of Arvada waving American and Thin Blue Line flags on Monday evening to honor the fallen officer as his body was taken to the funeral home, KCNC reported.
Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley, who was shot and killed today, was a school resource officer at Oberon Middle School. In 2015, we profiled his friendship with a boy who had development disabilities. Officer Beesley would bike to school with him so he'd be safe. #9NEWS #LODD pic.twitter.com/Ng4xJNSc7X
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) June 22, 2021
Rest In Peace @ArvadaPolice PO Gordon Beesley who was shot & killed on 6/21/21 while responding to a suspicious person call. A bystander who came to his assistance was also shot & killed. He was a 19 year veteran. Please retweet to honor him #BlueLivesMatter #BackTheBlue 💙🖤🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/jFK2VPbD2H
— Angel L Maysonet🇵🇷🇺🇸👮🏻♂️💙🖤 (@bigricanman) June 23, 2021
My heart breaks for Officer Gordon Beesley.
BLUE LIVES MATTER! Pray for the security of the men and women who selflessly serve our communities. pic.twitter.com/BX17buiJlO
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) June 22, 2021
.@ArvadaPolice Officer Gordon Beesley was shot & killed — murdered for the oath he took and the uniform he proudly wore. Officer Beesley led a life of significance. My prayers are with his loved ones and the family of the heroic Good Samaritan. #NeverForget #CopsCountPoliceMatter pic.twitter.com/2gGvhBAg4e
— Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton) June 23, 2021
— jimhooley (@jimhooley) June 22, 2021
Exactly three months ago I stood outside @BoulderPolice Department at a similar scene. Now it’s @ArvadaPolice . RIP Officer Gordon Beesley and thank you for protecting us. #police #Arvada pic.twitter.com/p9y48mE96O
— Nicole Brady (@NicoleDenver7) June 22, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Gordon Beesley, your life mattered.