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Cops: 'True Hero' Died in Colorado Shooting

Slain officer was killed in ambush, Arvada police say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2021 6:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – A police officer who was one of three people killed in a shooting at a suburban Denver shopping district was ambushed by a suspect who previously expressed hatred toward police, authorities said Tuesday. Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley "was targeted because he was wearing an Arvada police uniform," police Chief Link Strate said at a news conference. Strate called it a "deliberate act of violence" and an "isolated incident," the AP reports. The suspect was one of those killed, authorities said. Strate did not identify the suspect, saying his name would be released by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. Strate also did not explain what started Monday’s shootout, which also killed a man authorities have described as a “Samaritan” near a library in historic downtown Arvada.

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Strate on Tuesday identified that man as John Hurley, 40, of nearby Golden. Without elaborating on what he did, Strate called Hurley a "true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life." The chief said there was no connection between Hurley and the suspect. Arvada police spokesman Dave Snelling declined to say who shot the suspect, saying that would be something investigated by a team of area law enforcement officers. Authorities said Beesley, a 19-year veteran of the force, was a school resource officer with a reputation for taking a compassionate approach with students. With school out for the summer, Beesley was working on patrol when police said he was hit by gunfire shortly after a report of a suspicious incident.

(Read more Colorado stories.)

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