Home News 19-year-veteran police officer and two others killed after responding to a ‘suspicious...

19-year-veteran police officer and two others killed after responding to a ‘suspicious incident’ just outside Denver

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Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley was killed afgter responding to a call on Monday.


Elise Schmelzer and Sam Tabachnik

The Denver Post

Three people, including a veteran Arvada police officer, were killed Monday afternoon in a shooting in Olde Town Arvada that forced people to flee and others to take cover in the popular dining and shopping district.

The others killed included the shooting suspect and a third person described as a “Samaritan,” Arvada police Deputy Chief Ed Brady said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Police did not publicly identify any of the people killed, aside from saying the officer and the suspect were both men, and said the department was still notifying their families.

“There is no threat to the public at this point,” Brady said. “We’re not searching for anybody else.”

An officer responded to a 1:15 p.m. call about a suspicious incident near the Arvada library, Brady said. Calls about a shooting poured into the 911 dispatch center about 15 minutes later, he said.

Brady did not offer any other information about the shooting and did not take questions from reporters at the news conference. He did not state a motive for the shooting or explain why one of the people killed was called a Samaritan. More information was to be released later Monday, police said.

“This is an active investigation with many moving pieces,” he said.

Arvada police first reported the incident via Twitter at 1:53 p.m. Monday. Dozens of police officers from several metro Denver agencies responded to the area Monday afternoon and told people to stay away. Arvada police initially said two suspects were possibly connected to the incident, but later specified there was only one.

“Obviously it’s a horribly sad day for Arvada and for the region,” Arvada Mayor Marc Williams said. “There’s been so much of this. You hate to see it happen anywhere, but to see it happen in your community really brings it home.”

Brady Turner, 18, was eating lunch at the Arvada Army and Navy Surplus Store at Olde Wadsworth Boulevard and West 57th Avenue when he heard three gunshots and screaming. He fled the area.

“I was looking in all directions to make sure no one was following me,” he said.

Margie Starr and Kaia Mathewson were grooming dogs in Spoiled Dog Groomers when they heard a rapid succession of gunshots. Starr locked the door as police yelled for her to get inside. The two held the dogs, Rose and Kana, to calm them.

“We’re relieved to be out,” Starr said after closing the shop for the day.

Employees at the Arvada Chamber of Commerce sheltered in the building’s basement for more than an hour after the shooting, which happened less than a block away.

“Our hearts are with the Arvada Police Department and all who were impacted today,” Arvada Chamber President Kami Welch said in a statement.

Williams, the mayor, was only a few blocks away from the scene and saw a dozen police cars zooming toward the shopping district. He didn’t hear any gunshots, but knew something was wrong because of the speeding patrol cars.

“Olde Town is such a vibrant part of our community,” he said.

Officials closed City Hall for the remainder of the day after the shooting and canceled the City Council meeting scheduled for Monday night.

Dozens of Colorado police officers gathered Monday evening to accompany the slain officer’s body from the scene to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office in a procession. More than 100 onlookers gathered nearby as well to pay their respect to the officer.

“It’s a sad day,” a woman in the crowd said, as she draped her flag around her shoulders and walked away from the crowd.

The deceased Arvada officer is the second Colorado police officer to die while responding to a shooting this year. Boulder police Officer Eric Talley died March 22 while responding to a mass shooting inside a King Soopers grocery store. At least three other Colorado officers have been shot this year while responding to incidents, but survived.

“Our hearts grieve for the family of the Arvada Police officer, slain in a shootout this afternoon in Olde Town Arvada,” the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet.

Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement that his office was monitoring the situation in Arvada.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of the officer who was tragically killed in the line of duty while swiftly and bravely responding to protect civilians in the area,” he said.

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