A police officer who was ambushed and killed in Colorado last Monday was from New Jersey.

Gordon Beesley, 51, attended Mendham High School. Friends and classmates are recalling him as a "gentle giant" who was beloved by everyone who knew him.

Aside from being a law enforcement officer, Beesley was a drummer in a local band called The Railbenders. It was on their page that many in the community came to honor him.

"He made a difference in my families life," Tricia posted on Facebook. "He was a good Cop, a good musician but an outstanding human being. This is a devastating loss for our entire community."

Dozens of other community members posted similar sentiments.

Beesley was a school resource officer with the Arvada Police Department, just outside Denver. Last Monday, while responding to a call, he was confronted by Ronald Troyke, 59. Investigators say Troyke hated cops, and targeted Beesley simply because he was wearing a badge. He chased Beesely down and shot him twice with a shotgun.

Arvada Police Chief Link Strate called Beesley "a true gentleman and a kind soul" —sentiments that were echoed by scores of people posting remembrances online.

Although he left New Jersey for Colorado almost two-decades ago, those who knew him then remember him well. One former classmate recalled him as "one of the kindest humans I have ever known."

On his own Facebook page, Beesley listed his motto: "Look for the good in every day."

Funeral services were held for Beesley on Tuesday, and included a contingent of fellow law enforcement officers from New Jersey. He leaves behind a wife and two sons. The Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation is taking donations for the Beesley family.

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