Colorado city News (News21USA) — A Colorado city has reached a $2.8 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by the mother of a man killed by police in 2021 after taking heroic actions to stop a gunman who had shot at another officer, a law firm announced Thursday.
Kathleen Boleyn filed the lawsuit in June 2022, a year after the midday shootings in the main square of Olde Town Arvada, a historic shopping and entertainment area about 7 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of downtown Denver.
Boleyn said her son, Johnny Hurley, ran toward danger and shot the gunman, Ronald Troyke, who had just shot Officer Gordon Beesley. An investigation found that Troyke intended to kill as many officers as he could that day.
The lawsuit says Hurley was crouching with a rifle pointed downward and not in a threatening position when he was shot, adding that a witness said Hurley was removing the magazine from a rifle he took from the shooter.
A district attorney investigation cleared the officer who shot him, Kraig Brownlow. The investigation said it appeared to the officer that Hurley was reloading the rifle or trying to fix something on it. District Attorney Alexis King has said that Brownlow thought Hurley was a second shooter and that he only had a moment to stop him from hurting others.
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«Sir, Hurley’s heroic intervention saved lives that day. His bravery and selflessness will never be forgotten,» the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm said in a statement. «Recognizing that this was a horrific set of circumstances for everyone involved, «The parties agreed to resolve this matter.»
Brownlow was one of three officers who heard gunshots and saw Troyke from inside a nearby police substation. None of the officers inside the substation knew that Beesley, a 19-year veteran of the department and beloved school resource officer, had been shot or that Hurley had intervened, according to the district attorney’s investigation.
The lawsuit accused Brownlow and the other two officers of «coiling» at the substation, «choosing self-preservation over defense of the civilian population» before Brownlow saw Hurley with Troyke’s gun and opened the door to the building. and shot Hurley from behind after deciding not to give him a warning first.
«He made this decision even though no reasonable officer could have perceived a threat from Mr. Hurley’s actions,» the lawsuit says. «Sir. Hurley’s death was not the result of an unfortunate split-second decision gone wrong, but rather the result of a deliberate and unlawful use of deadly force.»