Colorado officer won't face charges in death of bystander at supermarket shooting


A Colorado police officer that fatally shot a bystander, who had just stopped an active shooter, will not face charges, prosecutors announced Monday.

The officer, whose name has not been released, fatally shot 40-year-old John Hurley during a shooting in downtown Arvada, Colorado, on June 21, apparently mistaking Hurley for the active shooter.

Ronald Troyke, 59, set off the chain of events when he shot and killed Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley. Hurley then shot Troyke with his own handgun. An officer responding to the shooting mistook Hurley for the gunman and fatally shot him.

Surveillance video shows Troyke retrieving a shotgun from his truck and fatally shooting Beesley, a 19-year veteran of the force, according to a press release by the city. Troyke also retrieved an AR-15 from his vehicle and fired multiple rounds into an outdoor shopping and dining area. 

The officer will not be charged in the shooting of Hurley as he had "objectively reasonable grounds" to believe everyone in the area was in danger, according to First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King. 

"Officers that day saw a mass shooter, heard many rounds of gunfire in broad daylight in the heart of Old Town Arvada," King told reporters during a press conference, according to NBC News. "Thus, the officer's decision to shoot John Hurley was legally justified despite his heroic actions that day."

Many officials and residents are praising Hurley as a hero, with the city calling him "Good Samaritan Johnny Hurley."

"Had he survived, we would have praised his bravery in engaging a mass shooter before anyone else was killed," King said. "He acted to defend others. We will remember him for his selflessness."

Hurley's mother, Kathleen Boleyn, said while she understands some people may be angry with the decision, she hopes they will use that energy "to be the change you wish to see in the world.”

“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,” she said in a statement, according to NBC.