A “hero” who fatally shot a cop killer was then shot dead himself by another officer called to the scene.
Johnny Hurley, 40, shot Ronald Troyke after the latter had gunned down Colorado officer Gordon Beesley with a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun.
Video footage shows Troyke, who had described police as the “enemy” and “expendable”, driving his pick-up truck to an area near a library, shops and restaurants in Arvada, about seven miles from Denver.
He gets out of the vehicle carrying a gun before proceeding to kill Beesley and shoot out the windows of police cars in the area.
After returning to his pick-up to retrieve an AR-15 rifle, Troyke was confronted by Hurley, who shot him with a handgun.
When another officer arrived, Mr Hurley was holding Troyke’s AR-15 and the responder opened fire, killing him, the local force said.
A retail worker said Mr Hurley had been shopping when he heard shots and ran out of the store.
“He did not hesitate – he didn’t stand there and think about it. He totally heard the gunfire, went to the door, saw the shooter and immediately ran in that direction,” Bill Troyanos told Denver TV station KMGH-TV.
Mr Hurley fired five or six shots and Troyke fell against a parked vehicle, Mr Troyanos added.
In a video statement, head of police Link Strate said Mr Hurley was a “hero” who had saved lives.
He did not offer an apology, however, describing Mr Hurley’s death as “equally tragic” to Gordon Beesley’s.
Mr State said: “The threat to our officers and our community was stopped by a hero named Johnny Hurley.
“Johnny’s actions can only be described as decisive, courageous and effective in stopping further loss of life.”
Police said a document written by Troyke suggested he planned to kill as many Arvada police officers as he could.
Troyke wrote: “We the people were never your enemy, but we are now.
“This is what you get – you are the people who are expendable.”
Mr Hurley’s family said they had received support from the city and police and are waiting for the outcome of a third-party investigation into the shooting.