School resource officer 1 of 3 killed in Colo. shooting

Officer Gordon Beesley was remembered for his integrity and love of the outdoors

Duty Death: Gordon Beesley - [Arvada, Colorado]

End of Service: 06/21/2021


By Associated Press

ARVADA, Colo. — A police officer who was one of three people killed in a shooting at a suburban Denver shopping district was a school resource officer known for developing relationships with students, city officials said.

Police have not explained what started Monday's shootout that also killed a suspect and a man they described as a “Samaritan” near a library in historic downtown Arvada that is home to popular shops, restaurants, breweries and other businesses about 7 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of downtown Denver.

Officer Gordon Beesley.
Officer Gordon Beesley. (Officer Down Memorial Page)

Authorities were expected to disclose more information about the shooting Tuesday afternoon. They have not made public the identities of the other two people who died.

With school out for the summer, officer Gordon Beesley was working on patrol when police said he was hit by gunfire shortly after a report of a suspicious incident that authorities have not described.

Beesley worked for the Arvada Police Department for 19 years as a patrol officer and as a motorcycle traffic officer before being assigned to work with students at Oberon Middle School.

According to his school resource officer biography, he played the drums in a band and enjoyed hiking, biking, skiing, and camping with his family. His motto was “Look for the good in every day.”

The biography posted on the city's website said: “He is dedicated to fostering a safe environment in his school, opening the lines of communication for the students, and teaching them the importance of integrity as they move on to the next phase of their lives.”

In 2015, Beesley began biking to school alongside a seventh grader with developmental delay after learning that he was really interested in bicycles but that his mother did not want him riding alone, according to a KUSA-TV story.

The shooting in Arvada came three months after a gunman opened fire and killed 10 people, including a police officer, at a supermarket in Boulder, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Arvada.

Flowers were piled on top a police cruiser festooned with U.S. flags and balloons Tuesday outside the Arvada Police Department in a makeshift memorial for Beesley, less than a mile (1.6) kilometers from the library where shots were fired outside.

After he was killed Monday, about 100 people — some holding American flags and pro-police flags — gathered as procession of police cars and motorcycles escorted the hearse carrying Beesley’s body to the coroner’s office.

Among them was Elaine Magnuson, who choked up as she watched. She originally thought the huge police response in the area indicated that a car accident might have happened — not a shooting that killed a police officer.

“It’s so close,” she said.

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