Good Samaritan with a gun stops Denver active shooter… But is accidentally killed by police…

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado man was shopping when he heard the gunfire that killed a suburban Denver police officer, rushed out of the store with his gun and shot the suspect, according to a worker who saw the shooting.

Bill Troyanos told Denver news station KMGH-TV that he was working at the Army Navy Surplus store in downtown Arvada on Monday when he and a man later identified by police as 40-year-old John Hurley heard shots and spotted a gunman in a plaza outside. Troyanos said Hurley rushed to confront the shooter.

“He did not hesitate; he didn’t stand there and think about it. He totally heard the gunfire, went to the door, saw the shooter and immediately ran in that direction,” Troyanos said. “I just want to make sure his family knows how heroic he was.”

Troyanos said he heard Hurley fire five or six shots. The gunman, identified by police as 59-year-old Ronald Troyke, fell against a parked vehicle, he said.

Hurley, who lived in Denver, was killed, as were the gunman and Arvada police Officer Gordon Beesley, a 19-year department veteran and beloved school resource officer. Police have not said who shot Hurley or the gunman.

Authorities were still investigating the shooting that happened in Olde Town Arvada, a historic and popular downtown district with restaurants, breweries and shops about 7 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of downtown Denver.

In a statement Wednesday, police acknowledged that questions remained unanswered, saying they had not finished interviewing witnesses and were waiting for forensic evidence.

“We hope in the next few days to have all of this information and we promise to provide that to our citizens,” it said.

On Tuesday, Police Chief Link Strate called Hurley a “true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life.” He said the gunman targeted the officer because he was wearing an Arvada police uniform and badge.

“Officer Beasley was ambushed by someone who expressed hatred of police officers,” Strate said.

A note left behind by Troyke and recovered after the shooting contained threats against Arvada police officers, Detective Dave Snelling told the AP on Wednesday.

The Gazette, citing officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported the note was found in Troyke’s apartment.

Cody Soules, who went to high school in Colorado Springs with Hurley, recalled his friend as an idealist who was outspoken on political issues but always wished the best for everyone he met. Hurley, known to friends as Johnny, was working with a catering company before he died, Soules said.

“John was a good guy, a big-hearted person. He wanted to make a change in our society,” said Soules, a general contractor and yoga instructor who lives near Napa, California. “When we were in high school, we were troublemakers, and we got into a bit of trouble. But he had a good heart.”

“I know for sure he was doing what he thought was the right thing, trying to protect those people,” Soules said.

According to a fundraising page for Hurley’s funeral, he loved the outdoors, had a passion for food and cooking, and loved spending time with family.

Hurley’s sister, Erin Hurley, declined to comment when contacted by the AP but said her family planned to issue a statement at some point.

She wrote on Facebook: “Johnny acted without hesitation and possibly saved many lives while sacrificing his own.”

*All credit goes to CFP (Citizens Free Press) for the original posting.

Best regards,


Sad! It’s not just the bad guys we have to worry about. Apparently we have to wear a shirt with "Good Guy
front and back. Sad… :us:


Yeah this is really sad. Have to wait for the rest of the facts but it’s just really sad


Noble actions but, If he did rush outside and took the shots he put his self in a bad situation that came out bad too.
Police officers do not know who you are!


May his family and loved ones find peace and comfort in the midst of this unnecessary tragedy.

May we also learn something out of this.
Once we pull out our gun, we become a target. It doesn’t matter whose target.


We’ve discussed this very scenario many times. Police (or other armed citizens) responding to an active shooter scenario can’t tell the difference between the “good guy with a gun” and the “bad guy with a gun.” I’m going to save this article for the next active shooter discussion / class I’m involved in.


Growing up in Arvada, I have been to this Army / Navy Surplus store many times, good place with great people.

Good example of needing to weigh out one’s response. I think the keep key thought is * eminent threat unto yourself and those WITH you. An evolving active situation may not be an eminent threat to YOUR life or property. This may be the critical element in court when all the dust settles :frowning:

One active shooter training class I was in outlined the need to IDENTIFY the shooter AND any safety team members to 911. “Active Shooter: Shooter Black T-Shirt and Shorts - male; Safety Team member Tall with Jeans and Long Sleeves, Safety Team member grey t-shirt and bald and very old.” While subjective, it could help police to have an idea of what the scene may look like when they arrive.

Sir Ulrich


This story is already drifting out of the news cycle, but there are good things we can all learn from this situation. Hurley should definitely be regarded as a hero.

While it is a common theory that the police will shoot any CCW who stops a mass shooter, that hasn’t shown to be the case in practice. To my admittedly fuzzy memory, this is the first or maybe second CCW that was mistakenly shot by authorities. Meanwhile there are at least a handful of incidents where a CCW stopped a mass shooter and was confronted by authorities (or another CCW!) without incident (see FBI Mass Shooting reports for details).

As CarryTrainer points out below, how you present yourself during an incident will determine the response from authorities or another CCW. You must make sure you don’t look like a mass shooter when someone else shows up. Even eye witnesses can label you incorrectly.

A little more info including a timeline of events:

CarryTrainer has some thoughts worth listening to:

I had a thought. :bulb: I bet his family won’t get millions of $$ from the city for the cops wrongful death. :unamused:


One key point not mentioned is the good guy after eliminating the threat proceeded to pick up the bad guys weapon and was at first glance perceivable as a active threat. I can see very readily how the police officer could assess and react as he did. This is a very sad outcome and I pray for all involved!!!


Very sad story and outcomes here. Lots to be learned from this. My heart goes out to the guy’s family. He really was a hero.


Very heroic actions with a very tragic outcome. A lot in this incident for CCers and LEOs to learn from. Hopefully the details and videos will be made available. The key takeaway likely being that if you are in an incident where the police have likely been called to respond to an active shooter with an “assault rifle” don’t have a rifle in your hands when they arrive! Will have to wait for more details but think it is hard to fault the responding officers in this case.

Is their a go fund me or similar site for the Good Samaritan’s family?


Here you go. :us:


Thanks for the link!


Picking up the real Shooter’s gun - This was his mistake that cost him his life. I live in the area this happened. Had he left the gun on the ground and when police arrived identified himself - upraised his hands - anything to allow the police to pause, he may be alive today. Not discounting that the police were not advised by bystanders that there was a “good shooter” on site…police should have taken additional 2 seconds to identify Hurley before shooting. There were mistakes on both sides here.


Welcome to the community @Sheryl3 !

A tough situation. Hard to What If it especially without seeing good video from multiple angles and knowing more details. Will say that a lot can happen in 2 seconds. If the person holding the rifle when the additional officers arrived was the active shooter, waiting 2 seconds to verify that could have equaled several more victims.

Hard to understand why he allegedly picked up the rifle. The only reasonable explanation I can think of is that he may have thought there were other active shooters present and he didn’t see the responding officers. It would make sense to grab a more effective weapon in that case.