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Good Samaritan’s mom in Arvada Olde Town Square shooting settles civil case with police

Almost on the eve of trial, the family of Good Samaritan John Hurley — who took down a man armed with an AR-15 rifle who had just killed a cop in Arvada’s Olde Town Square in 2021 — has reached a settlement with the Arvada Police Department, according to a news release.

The total amount of the settlement is about $2.8 million.

Kathleen Boleyn, Hurley’s mother, brought the civil case against Arvada Officer Kraig Brownlow and then-Chief Link Strate after her son was killed on June 21, 2021 trying to stop what police described as someone intent on killing officers. The suspect had just gunned down Officer Gordon Beesley.

“Johnny did what the police were supposed to do. When he heard shots, he just knew this was his moment,” Boleyn said when she filed the lawsuit. “He knew that his help was needed. He assessed the situation as he ran across the square but he shouldn’t have had to die because of it.”

“Johnny’s gifts to the world were innumerable and precious, a hero of the highest order,” said Taylor Garland, Hurley’s girlfriend, in a statement. “No trial or settlement could return Johnny to us, but I look forward to letting the memories we created together over a lifetime become the sweet reminders of what once was, and I will forever cherish the bond we shared.”

At midday on June 21, 2021, Ronald Troyke went to Olde Town Square in Arvada “on a mission to kill police officers,” according to the settlement news release.

Troyke shot and killed Beesley.

Hurley was shopping in a nearby store when he heard gunshots and ran toward the shooter with his concealed carry pistol drawn, according to court documents.

Hurley shot and killed Troyke.

Three officers, Brownlow, Michael Hall and Sterling Boom, were in their administrative office in the Arvada Professional Building adjacent to the square when they heard the two rounds of gunshots, according to court documents.

Officer Boom aired over the radio that there was an active shooter and saw Troyke, who was dressed in black.

The officers separated in a plan to stop the active shooter when Brownlow saw a man in red, later discovered to be Hurley, with an assault rifle in one hand and pistol in the other.

Hurley was removing the magazine from Troyke’s assault rifle to make the weapon safe, but Brownlow — thinking Hurley was loading the weapon and getting ready to kill others — shot Hurley to death about eleven seconds after getting eyes on him.

Brownlow did not issue a warning, citing the dangerous possibility of the gunman running toward the crowded square and the threat of the gunman having a larger and more dangerous weapon than Brownlow had, according to court documents.

Boleyn filed the lawsuit in 2022, saying the city needed to be held accountable for her son’s death.

The district attorney ruled the officer’s actions justified that day, and no criminal charges were filed due to the conclusion that Brownlow’s use of deadly force was used to defend himself and others from the “perceived threat posed by John Hurley,” according to court documents.

The parties agreed to settle the matter on Thursday, “recognizing that this was a horrific set of circumstances for all involved,” a news release said.

“In reaching a settlement, the parties acknowledge the tragic loss of Officer Beesley and Mr. Hurley and acknowledge Mr. Hurley’s heroic actions under trying and unusual circumstances,” the release added.

Boleyn said in a press conference Thursday that she forgives the officer who shot her son, but it was not easy to do so.

“Around the time this happened, I kept imagining how I would feel if I were the officer when I discovered that I had killed the Good Samaritan and I just could not stop crying and I projected those feelings onto the shooting officer, but I did not know how he felt,” Boleyn said. “For a long time, I knew that my spirit forgave him, but as Johnny’s mother, I struggled with how to do that.”

Forgiveness does not absolve a person of accountability or the need to face consequences, she said, but it is necessary for everyone to move on in life.

“I know no one wants his or her life to be judged on the worst thing they ever did,” Boleyn said. “Our world is so full, I think, of hate and blame and retribution and selfishness and I think we need to make more space for forgiveness.”

In their news release about the settlement, Hurley and Boleyn’s attorneys from Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC said all claims were resolved, but still criticized the officer’s use of force.

Law enforcement should only use deadly force if they are certain there is an imminent threat, and the decision to shoot Hurley was incorrect, the attorneys said.

In the settlement, the parties also agreed to explore the possibility of a memorial to commemorate the day’s events, but have not yet decided what that memorial may be.

“These men were loved by their families and friends; they were valued members of their communities,” the city of Arvada’s news release said. “In light of this, the parties have agreed to explore the possibility of a memorial to commemorate the events of that day.”

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