While on his knees in a hotel hallway, a sobbing Daniel Shaver was shot and killed by a cop. The officer was acquitted of murder, so learn about Daniel’s death. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT.
1. He was in Arizona on a business trip. The 26-year-old Daniel Shaver was visiting Mesa, Arizona when he was fatally shot inside the hallway of a La Quinta Inn & Suits on Jan. 16, 2016, according to Newsweek. The Granbury, Texas man was a pest control worker, visiting Arizona on business. He was showing off a pellet gun to two other guests he had met that night. Police reported to a call that someone was pointing a gun out of a fifth-floor window, leading to the fatal showdown with Philip “Mitch” Brailsford, 27.
2. Daniel’s death was captured on video. Daniel’s death, recorded by Brailsford’s body camera, captures the last moments of his life. Phillip, then an officer with the Mesa Police Department, instructed Daniel and an unnamed woman (who he was doing rum shots with before the incident, according to the Washington Post) to exit the hotel room and comply with commands from multiple officers. After entering the hallway, Daniel put his hands in the air and crossed his legs before laying down on the ground.
“If you make a mistake, another mistake, there is a very severe possibility that you’re both going to get shot. Do you understand?” Sgt. Charles Langley told Daniel. “I’m not here to be tactical and diplomatic with you. You listen. You obey.” The sergeant told Daniel to push himself into a kneeling position. While doing so, Daniel’s legs become uncrossed, causing the cops to yell at him some more.
3. He begged and cried before he died. “Please do not shoot me,” Daniel begged in the video. The officers instructed Daniel to crawl down the hallway, which he does while sobbing. The fatal mistake comes when Daniel reaches back, possibly to pull up his shorts. Phillip, who testified that he “believed 100 percent that he was reaching for a gun,” opened fire and shot Daniel five times.
WARNING: IT IS GRAPHIC. ONCE AGAIN, THE FOOTAGE IS GRAPHIC.
4. The former officer who shot Daniel was cleared of all charges. Philip was fired two months after the shooting for violating police department policy. He was charged with second-degree murder and reckless manslaughter. After deliberating for less than six hours over two days, according to AZ Central, Philip was found not guilty on Dec. 7.
He was a father of two. “He was my best friend,” Daniel’s pregnant widow (she’s a surrogate for her friends), Laney Sweet, wrote on the GoFundMe account she set up after his death. “He was madly in love with his two daughters. He worked hard and sacrificed so he could provide for us. Our oldest, Natalie (6), is a true daddy’s girl and they had a very special bond. Emery (4) misses her daddy and is crying for him during the night asking me, “Why can’t people come back alive?”
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