Three people, including a police officer and a suspect, were killed in a Denver-area shooting Monday, officials said.
The circumstances of the shooting, which happened around 1:30 p.m. when an officer was sent on call of a suspicious incident in Arvada’s Olde Town, were not immediately released. Police said there was no threat to the public, and no additional suspects were being shot.
“This is an active investigation with many moving pieces,” police Deputy Chief Ed Brady said at a news conference.
The third person is believed to have been killed by the suspect, Brady said. Police Det. David Snelling said police believe that person is “a Samaritan.”
The officer killed was identified by police Monday night as Gordon Beesley, a school resource officer and 19-year veteran of the department. He was working patrol while school is out for the summer, police said.
The name of the other person killed will be released by the coroner’s office, police said. The suspect was not immediately identified.
The shooting sent people fleeing in Olde Town, which is a historic downtown center with a town square, a witness said.
Erin Morley, of Greeley, was getting a tattoo to represent one of her young daughters when they heard a couple of gunshots.
“I looked outside and saw people running,” Morley told NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver. They went in a little further, and a man who said he was there and saw a police officer shot came in, she said.
“It was pretty terrifying,” she said. “It’s definitely not one of those things that you think is going to happen while you’re just out shopping.”
Arvada Mayor Marc Williams called Monday the saddest day for the city’s police department. Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement that his thoughts were with the officer’s friends and family.
A procession with a police escort was held for the officer and people lined the route, some with flags.
City Hall was closed Monday and would be closed again Tuesday to give space to the city’s police department and other law enforcement agencies, the city said.
“It’s a very sad, dark day,” Williams said, according to KUSA.