On the one-year anniversary of the Olde Town Arvada shooting, the estate of Johnny Hurley filed a civil lawsuit against the Arvada Police Department seeking damages for Hurley’s death.
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Former APD Officer Kraig Brownlow — identified as the officer who mistook Hurley for the initial shooter and fatally shot him — and APD Chief Link Strate are named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by Hurley’s mother, Kathleen Boleyn, as a representative of Hurley’s estate.
On Nov. 8, 2021, Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King announced the findings of a months-long Critical Incident Response Team investigation into the events of June 21, 2021.
The investigation found that APD Officer Gordon Beesley responded to a threat in Olde Town Square and was killed by Ronald Troyke, who had written a manifesto professing his hatred of the Arvada Police. Hurley was shopping at the Army Navy Surplus store across the street from the Square and responded to the incident by fatally shooting Troyke.
Brownlow was part of a group of APD officers who were responding to the shooting. Brownlow mistakenly identified Hurley as the initial shooter, Troyke, and fatally shot him.
King’s office did not charge Brownlow with any criminal wrongdoing. Brownlow left the Arvada Police Department months after the incident.
On June 22, the Arvada Police Department released a statement stating it is aware of the lawsuit filed by Hurley's estate and stands by DA King's finding that Brownlow did not commit any criminal offense in his response to the shooting.
"Based on the District Attorney’s findings and after an internal review, the APD found that Officer Brownlow’s actions were consistent with APD policy and procedures. The APD is not considering changes to its actual training or response protocols at this time," APD Public Information Officer Dave Snelling said in a news release.
Snelling confirmed Brownlow resigned from APD in good standing.
"The events of June 21, 2021, were caused by Ronald Troyke, an individual that harbored an unfounded hatred toward police officers," the news release continued. "When civil litigation is announced by a plaintiff’s attorney in a manner that mischaracterizes and omits select information, it has the potential to compromise officer safety.
"We stand by every member of the APD. We are confident that any mischaracterizations will be resolved in court," the release continued.
The law firm representing the Hurley estate, Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, represented the mother of Elijah McClain in her lawsuit against the City of Aurora concerning McClain's death, which occurred after he went into cardiac arrest in Aurora Police custody. The McClain family was awarded $15 million in the settlement, the highest sum awarded in a police settlement in Colorado history.
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