By Elinor Aspegren / USA TODAY

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 expressed hatred toward police, authorities said Tuesday.

Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley “was targeted because he was wearing an Arvada police uniform and a badge,” police Chief Link Strate said at a news conference. “Officer Beasley was ambushed by someone who expressed hatred of police officers.”

Arvada, Colo., Police Officer Gordon Beesley was shot and killed Monday.
Arvada Police Department via AP

The department identified the Good Samaritan as John Hurley, 40, of Golden. Chief Link Strate called Hurley a “true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life.”

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office confirmed the suspected shooter is Ronald Troyke, 59, of Arvada. His cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds.

Arvada police identify ‘Good Samaritan’ killed in shooting, say officer was ‘ambushed’
3 dead in Colorado shopping district shooting

The shooting occurred in the city’s downtown district with shops, restaurants, breweries and other businesses. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is about seven miles northwest of downtown Denver.

After Beesley was killed Monday, about 100 people — some holding American flags and pro-police flags — gathered as a procession of police cars and motorcycles escorted the hearse carrying Beesley’s body to the coroner’s office.

John Garrod of Arvada held a black and white flag with blue stripes at the beginning of a line of about 30 police cars before the procession, a flag he hangs outside his house whenever an officer is killed.

“It breaks my heart whenever this happens but especially when it happens so close to home,” Garrod said. “These are the same officers I wave to when I am walking my dog.”

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