A heroic bystander who shot and killed a gunman was himself shot dead by a cop in a case of mistaken identity.
Johnny Hurley, 40, was shopping in downtown Arvada, a suburb of Denver, Colorado when he heard Ronald Troyke ambush and murder Officer Gordon Beesley, who was responding to a call Monday afternoon, officials said.
Police released excerpts from a document penned by Troyke where he pledged to kill as many officers as he could.
"We the people were never your enemy, but we are now," and "hundreds of you pigs should be killed daily," the document read, according to cops.
"Today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can … I just hope I don’t die without killing any of you pigs."
Shortly before the deadly shootings, Troyke’s brother called police and told them he was going to "do something crazy". Beesley and another cop went to Troyke’s house, but no one was home, police said.
Troyke, 59, then returned to his truck to grab an AR-15 and was holding it when brave Hurley – who was carrying a concealed weapon – confronted him and shot him dead, reports the New York Post.
Security footage released by police yesterday shows Troyke running after Beesley in a parking lot and shooting him, as two bystanders stand nearby.
But when another officer responded to the scene, he saw Hurley holding the suspect’s rifle – and tragically mistook the good Samaritan for the cop killer, fatally shooting him.
Police Chief Link Strate said: "Officer Beesley was responding to a call in the area of Olde Town Arvada, and within seconds he was brutally ambushed and murdered by someone who expressed hatred towards police officers."
He went on: "The threat to our officers and our community was stopped by a hero named Johnny Hurley. Johnny’s actions can only be described as decisive, courageous, and effective in stopping further loss of life."
The unnamed cop who gunned down Hurley was placed on administrative leave as independent law enforcement agencies investigate whether he should be charged with a crime.
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But the Arvada Police Department said in a statement that blame for Hurley's death lies with Troyke, saying: "it is clear that the suspect bears responsibility for this tragic sequence of events.”
Hurley’s family released a statement yesterday, saying: "Our beloved son and brother Johnny is no more. We loved him dearly. May he rest in peace.
"Before Johnny engaged in a clear-eyed response to a dire situation, he was already a wonderful human being with a great enthusiasm for life."
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