Friends, family and members of the community came in droves to remember Johnny Hurley, killed in the June 21 Olde Town shooting, as a principled, selfless person who wouldn't think twice about …
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Friends, family and members of the community came in droves to remember Johnny Hurley, killed in the June 21 Olde Town shooting, as a principled, selfless person who wouldn't think twice about helping someone in need. A memorial for Hurley was held at the Arvada Center on July 20 and followed by a celebration of life at Robby Ferrufino Park later that day.
The memorial featured speeches from Hurley's family and friends and was attended by more than 300 people, while the celebration of life offered a space for those in mourning to share food, play arcade games and take part in psychic readings.
Hurley was remembered by those who knew him as someone who always put others first, as he did on June 21, when he rushed to the aid of fallen Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley during an active shooter situation. According to the APD, Hurley shot Beesley's killer Ronald Troyke before Hurley was fatally shot by a responding Arvada police officer. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of a Jefferson County Critical Incident Team investigation.
Hurley's friends and family stressed that he was a hero long before the events of June 21. He was known to go above and beyond for clients during his time at All Love Catering, and recently helped a friend convert an old Denver International Airport shuttle bus into an arcade.
According to those who knew him, Hurley was known to stand up for what he believed was right, even if it caused disagreements. His father, a longtime U.S. diplomat, recalled a rough patch between the two due to differences of opinion on foreign policy and other political issues. Eventually, the elder Hurley said, the two reconciled and agreed to disagree.
An avid outdoorsman, a family camping trip brought Hurley to the Army and Navy Surplus Store in Olde Town Arvada on that fateful Monday in search of supplies. APD Public Information Officer Dave Snelling said that Hurley's actions undoubtedly saved lives, as Troyke had threatened to kill more APD officers.
“I can guarantee you that he saved many lives,” said Snelling. “There's absolutely no doubt from our perspective, and that's why we labeled him a hero right out of the gate, because it was very obvious how he did something amazing. He ran into the direction of danger, which is just remarkable. Overall, a great dude.
“What makes it so respectable,” Snelling continued, “is that even though he had questions about the government, and he saw a police officer down, he still ran over to help. He separated the badge from the person, he truly saw just a person (in Beesley).”
Arvada Mayor Marc Williams commended Hurley's heroic actions and hinted that naming something in Hurley's honor was on the city's radar.
“He was obviously a very interesting guy,” said Williams, “and he definitely deserved the reputation of being a hero. I know there will be efforts, we've had requests for naming opportunities in his honor. We have a process and procedure that we'll follow so we'll see what comes out of that. We certainly want to memorialize his actions appropriately.”
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