The deadly shooting in Arvada, Colorado that left three dead on Monday appears to have been a targeted attack from a man who expressed police hatred, the police chief said.
Arvada Chief of Police Link Strate noted that the murder of Officer Gordon Beesley was a hateful act of violence against the officer “because he was wearing an Arvada police uniform and a badge,” according to CNN.
Along with Beesley, whom Strate characterized as a “true gentleman and a kind soul,” another bystander and the shooter were killed during the incident.
Strate described the bystander, reported to be 40-year-old John Hurley, as a “true hero” who may have stopped what could have been a much larger loss of life.
“He came into the Olde Town area in the middle of shooting and prevented any further injury,” the police chief recounted.
The alleged shooter, Ronald Troyke, expressed that he had a hatred of police officers, according to Strate.
The Las Vegas Sun reported that after Beesley was slain, a crowd of about 100 people assembled with American flags and pro-police flags to signal support as the processional of police cars and motorcycles carried the hearse to the coroner’s office.
The hateful and “deliberate act of violence” took the life of not only a long-time police officer — but a man who loved his community.
Before he was a patrol officer, Beesley served the Arvada community as a school resource officer, known for his compassionate approach with students.
Local school counselor David Ruppert spoke of Beesley’s devotion to the students and the parents, motivating them to stay in school and “look for the good in every day” — his life motto.
“The kids gravitated toward him. They looked at him as someone I can go to,” shared Rupert.