DENVER (KDVR) — Johnny Hurley, the good “Samaritan” identified in Arvada’s deadly shooting on Monday, would help anyone in need, according to his best friends and former co-workers, who are now grieving the 40-year-old’s death.
“Johnny was the kind of guy that would think of everyone but himself first, always. It wouldn’t matter what the situation was,” said Cole Crocker, who used to work with Hurley at All Love Catering before the business shut down during the pandemic.
Hurley would be willing to work 100 hours per week to make sure everything was perfect for the weddings and events he handled, according to Jenn Masak, who worked with Hurley at the catering business.
She reminisced about the time she took him shopping for his first suit.
“He wanted to look really nice for an All Love Catering event that we had…he just looked so handsome. It was one of the most wonderful times of my life,” she said.
She said Hurley was about to start a corporate sales job before the business shut down, because he always wanted to learn new skills.
“He had the personality to do that,” she said. “He could go and talk to anybody, befriend them, and really charm into what was…the best thing for them,” she said, explaining his intuition.
“With the work that we were doing, we would meet all walks of life — I’m talking everybody from millionaires to people who had just have a few bucks…and he treated them wonderfully no matter who they were,” Crocker said.
Hurley would take several co-workers under his wing and mentor them at work, Crocker said, and he even gave a fellow colleague a ride when they needed help getting to and from work.
“He was just a very passionate person and very caring, nurturing person,” Crocker said.
The pair said Hurley was also outspoken about individual rights, and he didn’t care what other people thought about it.
“Some of his views were a little bit extreme at times, and we definitely teased him for it, but Johnny was the guy that – he believed in himself, and he believed in his personal rights,” Crocker said.
“He was very much, kind of, antigovernment. He wanted people to be independent and make their own decision and didn’t like a lot of restrictions and government involvement and things like that, but that didn’t change the fact about who he was as a person when it came to caring for other people,” Masak said.
“John’s a good guy. He’s got a good heart,” said Cody Soules, a high school friend of Hurley’s. “He would often times kind of speak on difficult subjects… but I always felt that his heart was in the right place.”
Soules described Hurley as a sort of “an outspoken activist” who would frequently speak his mind but never really take specific political sides. “I felt like he was doing it because he thought it was the right thing to do, and he believed that he was helping people,” he said.
“I think he would want to be known for being kind of outspoken and doing difficult things. It doesn’t surprise me. He seems like he would stand up for somebody if there was something going,” Soules said. “He wasn’t afraid to talk about difficult things or do difficult things if he felt like it was going to help people or help society at large. I never really saw him as someone who took sides, like, ‘I’m going to take this person’s side,’ or ‘I’m going to take that person’s side,’” Soules said.
Crocker said Hurley had been working a variety of jobs prior to his death, including at a piano-moving company, at a kitchen and at an arcade. He said Hurley loved the outdoors, too.
Arvada Police did not say what Hurley did to prevent others from being hurt, but they called him a “true hero.”
Donations for Officer Beesley’s family and funeral expenses can be made through the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation website. The Arvada Police Department has also set up a web form for people wishing to make non-monetary donations.