Shooting in Olde Town Arvada

Three dead including one APD officer and suspect

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Arvada police are investigating a shooting in Olde Town Arvada that resulted in the death of Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley. The shooting took place near Olde Town Square and the Jefferson County Library -- located approximately at the intersection of Olde Wadsworth Boulevard and West 57th Avenue -- around 1:30 p.m. on Monday. 

Arvada Police Department PIO Dave Snelling confirmed to reporters that three people died. Among them an APD officer, an adult male civilian that was described as "a Good Samaritan" by Snelling and the shooting suspect. 

"This is an active investigation," APD Deputy Chief Ed Brady said during a 5:10 p.m. press conference. A veteran officer with the Arvada Police Department was shot and killed. Another person was transported to an area hospital. At this time, we believe this person was shot and killed by the gunman. We are working to identify this individual. "
 
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's familes and friends," Brady continued. "One suspect has been shot and killed, and his identity will be released by the coroner’s officer... We are not searching for anyone else."

Brady also confirmed that there was no further threat to the public and the department was not looking for additional suspects. He said the area shelter-in-place order has been lifted, though portions of Olde Town would remain closed to the public, pending the ongoing investigation. 

Beesley was a 19-year member of the Arvada Police Department who was a School Resource Officer at Oberon Middle School in Arvada. Beasley was working patrol at the time of the shooting while school is out for summer. 

At 1:15 p.m. APD officers responded to a call of a suspicious incident in Olde Town Square near the library. Just after 1:30 pm. APD began to recieve calls of shots fired in the area and an officer hit by gunfire. 

A shelter-in-place order was put in place during the incident and lifted late in the afternoon. Another shelter-in-place was issued around 5 p.m. "out of abundance of caution" and lifted around 8:45 p.m. 

A press release sent out by APD on Monday night called the shooting an "isolated incident" and added that the local community should "expect to see officers in the area throughout (Monday) evening and into (Tuesday)."

Arvada Mayor Marc Williams said he also believes the shooting is an isolated incident and is hopeful that Olde Town will rebound from the tragedy. 

"We don't have all the details of this yet," said Williams. "I truly believe it’s an isolated incident. Olde Town remains safe; it’s a great place to be. We will bounce back from this. I know that our merchants, our restauranteurs and our patrons love Olde Town, and they will not allow this horrible incident to destroy the great things that happen in Olde Town."

Williams added that this was the first time an APD officer has been killed by gunfire in the line of duty. 

"This is a real gut punch," said Williams.

"We had two officers years ago, one was an accident where he was doing a stop and was hit by a vehicle and the other was a scuba diving training episode. For this never to have happened here makes it tough," Williams continued, "and to have it happen in the heart of our Olde Town — I don't know if it could be worse, but it makes it more impactful for us."

Surrounding police departments, including Edgewater, Brighton, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Northglenn, Thornton, Commerce City, Broomfield, CU Police, Boulder, Adams and Jeffco Sheriff's Department have responded to the scene, as has a SWAT team.

Alex Reid, the production manager for Rheinlander Bakery located in Olde Town, said he was working in the bakery when he heard what sounded like a firecracker go off , followed by two more.  He said it sounded like the shots were coming from  the square area at 57th and Old Wadsworth, near the library.

Reid said his staff moved quickly at that point, ushering employees and customers to a secluded stock room further in the building, where the group barricaded themselves in and waited until police arrived and eventually ushered everyone out the back of the building, and to safety.

Reid said his employee Caeliegh Cole  was at the front of the storefront when it happened, and reacted quickly, even ushering in people from off the street to get them to safety. 

Williams said effort of good Samaritans like Cole is on-brand for the Arvada community. 

"It is quintessential Arvada," said Williams, "that everyone pulled together to protect each other and keep each other safe."

The Olde Town Arvada Water Tower will be lit Monday evening in remembrance of the fallen Arvada Police Department officer. 

Olde Town Arvada Business Improvement District Director Joe Hengstler thanked businesses in the popular retail and commercial district for their actions in responding to the shooting.  

"We are all beyond saddened and stunned by the events that unfolded in Olde Town Arvada today and are still processing the tragedy with the rest of the community," said Hengstler in a statement. "We thank our many businesses that took swift and careful action to keep patrons and passersby’s as safe as possible.

"We stand strong with our businesses and our hearts go out to the community," Hengstler said, "the Arvada Police Department, and all others affected. Arvada is a resilient city and will endure in the days and weeks ahead."

Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued a statement on the shooting shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Monday. 

“We are closely monitoring the troubling situation in Arvada," said Polis' statement. "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.”

Donations to the family of the fallen APD officer can be made at cofallenhero.org

Hengstler said the Olde Town BID needed to coordinate with businesses, the City of Arvada and other stakeholders to determine when the district would re-open to the public. 

Arvada City Hall closed on Monday and remained closed through Tuesday June 22 "to ensure space and other resources are available to the Arvada Police and other public safety partners responding to Monday's shooting in Olde Town," according to the City of Arvada's Twitter account. Arvada Municipal Court will also be closed and trials will be rescheduled. 

At 10:30 p.m. on Monday, the APD Tweeted that Olde Town Sqaure is "clear" and that "Citizens and business owners may return to pick up cars etc."

This story will be updated. 

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