Self Defense Lessons Learned from the Arvada, CO. Shooting
Last Monday (06-21-21) in Arvada, Colorado a tragedy took place. There was a murder, more like execution, of a police officer by a complete psycho hell bent on murdering as many cops as he could, along with anyone else who happened to be in the area. The shooting took place in Olde Town, Arvada at a shopping center. The shooter killed an officer by running up to him and shooting him with a shotgun at point blank range. He returned to his truck and grabbed a rifle and was going back to find more victims. That's when he ran across the hero John Hurley. John stopped the madman by using his concealed handgun. An armed citizen put an end to this attempt at a mass shooting, but unfortunately the story doesn't end there, or with a happy ending.
John Hurley stopped the madman but when responding officers got to the scene they shot and killed John thinking he was the shooter. So how did this happen? While there's still no video or eye witness accounts that completely confirm this the Arvada Police Department says that when they got to the scene John was holding the shooters rifle so they shot him, again thinking he was responsible. It's a horrible and tragic ending to this story. An officer murdered and an armed citizen hero who stopped the shooter killed.
Now if it's true that John was holding the shooters rifle when police arrived I can see how officers mistook him as the shooter. I know what you're thinking "Wait a minute, did the police even talk to him or give him any orders to freeze, put his hands up, throw down the weapon or anything like that before shooting him?" That's a great question, it's sounding like they open fired immediately and asked questions, never. They saw a guy with a gun, knew there was a threat and started shooting. Keep in mind this was an active shooter situation and an officer had already been killed, everyone involved is panicked, angry and confused.
I hate that this happened, but there are lessons to be learned here. If it's true that John was holding the shooter's rifle, BIG MISTAKE. Hind sight is always 20/20, but if you're ever involved in a self defense situation and end up having to use your firearm to defend yourself or others. As soon as the threat is over, holster and keep your hands empty. The last thing you want is for police to arrive, or even another armed citizen and you're holding a gun. Good guys and bad guys don't wear a uniform, so officers and other people have no idea who's who when they first arrive. Now it's true that John may, or may not have been clear of the threat when he grabbed the rifle, if that's what he did. It's hard to say, there's no telling what he was thinking or saw.
The Arvada Police Department release some footage of the shooting, you can watch the video below. However most of the video is the departments response as to what happened followed by the very beginning of the shooting. It doesn't show John Hurley or the officers who responded, shot and killed him. I'm sure over the next couple of days and weeks more will be made clear, or I'm hopping so anyway.