Officials have learned more about a suspect’s motive who ambushed and killed an Arvada, Colorado police officer in June. Officer Gordon Beesley, a 19-year veteran of the force, had responded to a 911 suspicious circumstance call near a library in the city’s Olde Town commercial district.
The suspect, identified as 59-year-old Ronald Troyke, ambushed Officer Beesley, shooting and killing him during the response. The Denver Post reported, a “Samaritan,” identified as Johnny Hurley, who’d been shopping nearby, shot and killed Troyke. Sadly, another responding officer, Kraig Brownlow, mistook Hurley for an “active shooter” and shot and killed him.
When Officer Brownlow arrived, Hurley, after shooting Troyke, had recovered and was holding the suspect’s rifle. The Post also reported prosecutors have cleared Officer Brownlow of any wrongdoing. This was a tragic but legitimate case of misidentification.
In a recently released report, the man responsible for the cascade of tragedy “planned an attack on officers after developing an obsession with law enforcement and police misconduct while watching hours of YouTube videos every day, investigative documents show.”
Weeks before he killed Beesley, Troyke had an altercation with Arvada officers. Troyke told the officers he was angry about the in-custody death of Elijah McClain. Officers attempted to tell Troyke they had not been involved in that incident, but he kept yelling at them.
Ironically, police report Officer Beesley had just returned from a welfare check at Troyke’s apartment when the ambush occurred. Troyke’s out-of-state siblings had called to request the police do a welfare check of their brother. Some “suicidal” and “suicide by cop” statements he’d made to them on the phone had them worried. They also told police he owned guns.
Investigators recovered two notes written by Troyke, including his plan to kill Arvada police officers. The Post reported the notes resulted in an FBI domestic terrorism investigation into Troyke.
Family members said Troyke had been expressing his hate for cops for about 10 years. He began spending hours daily and had become “warped” by YouTube videos about police and talked of nothing else.
The family also said Troyke hadn’t been employed since 2015. That is when he started watching the videos.
One of Troyke’s relatives said, “He gets up early in the morning and calls my sister up and tells her about all this negative police stuff that YouTube always shows and all the lies and crap they give out, and he just, I don’t know, he just kept watching it and watching it and just, so I think this is part of it.”
The family also told police Troyke had owned his guns for many years. Police reported, in Troyke’s truck, which he’d parked nearby, they found additional ammunition aside from the 100 rounds he had on himself at the time of his death.
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