Arvada, CO — One year ago in Colorado a tragedy was both stopped before another unfolded. A hero concealed carry permit holder, who trained to intervene in mass shootings, stopped a murdering psychopath in his tracks. That hero was Johnny Hurley and after he put an abrupt end to a mass shooting by killing the shooter — he would be gunned down by police.
The following November in Arvada, the police officer who killed an inspiring hero who saved countless lives, found out that he will not be charged with a crime. Hurley's case barely registered as a blip in the corporate media and news of the officer's lack of charges was basically non-existent.
Hurley did not fit the description of the shooter yet he was gunned down by police who still refuse to release the video that they claim justifies they officer's actions.
As a result of the lack of accountability, Hurley's family announced they will be taking civil action against the department — nearly one year after Hurley was gunned down for stopping a mass shooting as other officers were too scared to intervene.
“That's the information that Arvada did not want the public to know,” said Siddhartha Rathod, the attorney representing Hurley’s family. “The officers hid while Johnny did what they were trained to do, that the officers refused to go outside. These are three officers with bulletproof vests on, and they refused to open the door and go and engage the shooter.”
“When Johnny heard the shots, he opened the door and faced the danger,” Rathod said, noting that they had to file this lawsuit to get justice for Johnny.
“When you compare the action of the Arvada police to the heroism of Johnny, it is a stark contrast,” he said.
On June 21, 2021, a deranged gunman, 59-year-old Ronald Troyke, began what was about to be a deadly mass shooting. His first victim would be Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley. The second victim would be Hurley.
According to First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King — who exonerated the officer who shot Hurley, officer Kraig Brownlow — three officers were eating lunch nearby and saw the gunman, Troyke, dressed in all black carrying an AR-15. When they found him, they could not get a clear shot and one officer was only wearing soft body armor that was not capable of stopping a round from an AR-15, King wrote in her decision letter.
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On the contrary, Hurley was not wearing any body armor and ran directly toward the shooter, took cover behind a wall, and opened fire, killing Troyke and saving an untold number of lives.
After Hurley saved the day, Brownlow then spotted Hurley — who was wearing a red shirt, not dressed in black — and he immediately killed him. Brownlow, who was backed up by King, said Hurley was “manipulating” Troyke's AR-15, attempting to unload it, while holstering his pistol. Brownlow claimed Hurley was reloading the rifle or trying to fix something on it so instead of yelling for him to drop the gun — which Hurley would have done immediately — Brownlow shot first and asked questions later.
“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,” King said.
But the family's attorney disagrees. “And then when you magnify it with their conscious decision to not announce themselves and to shoot Johnny in the back, when he was unloading the weapon, when he did not match the description of the shooter that they had seen, when he did not pose a threat to anyone, it is just unbelievable. Their conduct is unbelievable.”
That video, mentioned by King, captured the interaction between Hurley and Troyke, and Brownlow who showed up and killed him. However, the video of Hurley picking up the AR-15 has not been released. So we have to take their word.
Hopefully, the lawsuit filed by Hurley's family shows the world the truth — that a public servant stalked a hero for 11 seconds before executing him with a bullet to the back.
“There is pride that is mixed with the grief,” said his mother, Kathleen Boleyn, according to Colorado Public Radio. “If you have to lose your child … isn’t this the way? I think when I look at his life in how he was and who he was, this really was him. I was the lucky one who got to be his mom.”