Arvada, CO – The Arvada police officer who fatally shot a good Samaritan he mistook as the gunman who had already killed a cop in the town square will not face any criminal charges in connection with the June incident.
First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King made the announcement on Monday and identified the officer who shot 40-year-old John Hurley as Arvada Police Officer Kraig Brownlow, KMGH reported.
King wrote in her letter announcing the decision that Officer Brownlow was found to have reasonably believed that Hurley was the shooter who had already shot and killed an Arvada police officer on June 21.
“The officer here had objectively reasonable grounds to believe, and did believe, he and other people were in imminent danger of being killed that day,” the district attorney told reporters at a press conference on Nov. 8, according to KMGH.
“The officer saw a mass shooter, heard many rounds of gunfire in broad daylight in the heart of Olde Town Arvada. … Thus, the decision to shoot John Hurley was legally justified despite his heroic actions that day,” she said.
King said her investigation had also determined that Hurley “acted as a hero” when he intervened and shot the gunman who had killed Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley, KMGH reported.
“Had he survived, we would have praised his bravery in engaging a mass shooter before anyone else was killed. He acted to defend others and we will remember him for his selflessness,” the prosecutor said.
King said three officers were eating lunch nearby when Ronald Troyke shot Officer Beesley, and that only three minutes had elapsed between when they heard gunfire erupt and the moment Officer Brownlow shot Hurley.
The report said the officers went to different sides of the building in search of the gunman and saw him dressed in black and carrying an AR-style rifle, KMGH reported.
The prosecutor released previously unseen surveillance and bodycam videos from the scene when she made the announcement.
Hurley was inside the Arvada Army Navy Surplus store on June 21 when Troyke opened fire at Officer Beesley on the plaza in Olde Town Arvada, KCNC reported.
Witnesses said that he told others to stay inside and went out to confront the active shooter with his own handgun.
Dispatchers told officers that there were two “suspects with guns.”
Hurley shot Troyke and then bent over and picked up the weapon the gunman had just used to kill a police officer, KCNC reported.
Surveillance video showed Hurley ran over to the body of the gunman after he was down, but then both of them were blocked from view at that point by a parked vehicle.
Officer Brownlow spotted Hurley, in a red shirt, carrying an AR-style rifle and a handgun and “manipulating” the weapons, and fatally shot him.
Bodycam video from the prosecutor picked up at that point that showed Hurley had gone at least 20 yards down the alley toward the street carrying Hurley’s weapon before his was shot by an officer who mistook the good Samaritan for the cop killer.
King said the officers “almost” got a chance to engage the actual gunman –Troyke – “but never had a clear shot,” according to KMGH.
“Based on facts – not only information from witnesses, but also surveillance video and other evidence – this officer believed and had reasonable grounds to believe that John Hurley was a second mass shooter. They really only had a moment to safely engage him before potentially putting others at risk,” the prosecutor explained.
Hurley’s mother, Kathleen Boleyn, put out a statement asking people not to be angry about the decision the district attorney had made, KMGH reported.
“I imagine that many people are angry and that is understandable,” Boleyn said. “I would ask that instead of acting out on your anger, that you use that energy to be the change you wish to see in the world. Engage in meaningful conversation that might make a difference in how we all may move forward together.”
She thanked those who have supported Hurley’s family and said their love “has allowed our family to persevere as we struggle to come to terms with Johnny’s final act of heroism,” KMGH reported.
“I pray none of us will have to face a situation such as Johnny did, but as we pull ourselves together to move forward in life, consider using Johnny’s commitment to doing the right thing even at the greatest cost to inspire your own actions,” Hurley’s mother said.