While Officers Hid, Hurley Acted

The active shooter was wearing black shorts, a floppy hat and tactical gear, and he had already killed an Arvada police officer. He was shooting out windows in police cars in a busy shopping and restaurant district in Olde Town Arvada during lunch hour one year ago.

Three fellow officers in a nearby substation —  in shorts and polo shirts — were worried they weren’t wearing the right gear to safely face him. They instead watched the man with an AR-15 from the window as he walked toward the main square of Olde Town, according to investigative documents.

Johnny Hurley, 40, was shopping at an Army surplus store a block over and peered out the window, spotting the shooter. He ran out of the store and removed his concealed gun at his waist, beneath his shirt. 

Hurley had trained for active shooter situations — not because it was part of his work, but because he wanted to help people and save lives. 

Crouching down, he ran across a vacant, shady plaza with umbrellas and tables, gripping his gun as it pointed toward the ground. Hurley knelt down behind a brick wall and carefully watched the shooter. Hurley took aim and fired six rounds from his handgun, five struck the gunman, according to his lawyers.