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Records: Man Killed In Mesa Officer-Involved Shooting Sobbed As He Tried To Surrender

The Mesa Police Department has released photos, surveillance video, audio recordings and hundreds of documents from its probe of an officer-involved shooting at a hotel in January.

Mesa Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford faces a second-degree murder charge in the shooting of Daniel Shaver, an unarmed, 26-year-old man from Texas.

Brailsford wore a body camera during the shooting, but the footage has not been released.  Instead, detectives summed up the video in a report that said Shaver sobbed as he tried to surrender, and pleaded with officers not to shoot him.

Shaver had been drinking with a woman when police, responding to a report of someone pointing a gun out a window at a La Quinta Inn and Suites, ordered them to come out of his room.  

Records show Shaver had two pellet guns in the room. Shaver worked for his father-in-law’s pest control business and used the guns to shoot birds.

Officers took the woman into custody and told Shaver to crawl toward them with his hands visible, records show. Shaver twice failed to follow instructions, and when he reached back to his waistband, investigators said Brailsford opened fire.

In the video, detectives said that Shaver looks like he’s reaching for a gun. But they also said Shaver’s shorts had fallen down, and he may have been trying to pull them back up.

Witnesses described Shaver as drunk, but he reportedly told police he wasn’t.

Mesa police fired Brailsford last week, but he can still appeal. His next scheduled court appearance is May 16.  

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.