The Colorado cop slain on Monday during a confrontation in the Denver suburb of Arvada was targeted because he was a police officer, authorities said.
Gordon Beesley, a 19-year veteran and school resource officer, was killed in the Olde Town area of the city in an incident that also resulted in the death of an innocent bystander and the shooter, police Chief Link Strate said in a news briefing on Tuesday.
“While we yet don’t have all the facts, I can tell you that Gordon was targeted because he was wearing an Arvada police uniform and a badge,” the chief said.
“Officer Beesley was ambushed by a person who expressed hatred of police officers.”
With school out for the year, Beesley had volunteered to cover the Olde Town neighborhood on patrol, Strate said.
Police haven’t released many details of how the deadly confrontation broke out but the chief called it a “deliberate act of violence.”
The shooter hasn’t been identified. Beesley and 40-year-old bystander John Hurley were identified for the first time Tuesday. Strate called Hurley a “Good Samaritan.”
“And he is a true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life,” Strate said.
“Through our investigation we have not made any prior connection to our Good Samaritan or our suspect.”
Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said during the news briefing that in addition to the crime investigation there is a second probe making sure proper police procedure was followed.
Local police said in a press release “there are many rumors already floating around” but because the investigation is ongoing, the rumors cannot be addressed.
Beesley had responded to a call on Monday at about 1:15 p.m. of a “suspicious incident” near the library. Fifteen minutes later, 911 calls came in reporting gunshots and an officer down.
A shelter-in-place order was in place, but police later said they weren’t looking for any other suspects.
“There is no threat to the public at this point,” Deputy Chief Ed Brady said on Monday. “We are not searching for anyone else. The shelter-in-place has been lifted.”
A vigil was held for the fallen officer on Tuesday. Beesley was called by the chief a true gentleman and kind soul, who always had a smile on his face.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post Tuesday, Arvada Police Department posted a photo of Beesley that said, “Officer Gordon Beesley – End Of Watch 6/21/2021.”