In Daniel Shaver’s final moments, he was heard pleading for his life — sobbing and saying to police officers, “Please don’t shoot me.”
Shortly afterward, Shaver was shot and killed by one of them, according to an investigation report from the Mesa Police Department.
In January, authorities said former officer Philip “Mitch” Brailsford fatally shot Shaver after responding to a call about a suspect with a gun. He has been charged with second-degree murder and fired from the force.
On Tuesday, according to the Arizona Republic, authorities released a report detailing witness testimony as well as audio and video footage from a body camera that suggests an unarmed and intoxicated Shaver was begging to be spared. The report also indicates Brailsford may have had cause for concern as Shaver made a move toward his waistband while approaching police.
Authorities said Brailsford then fired five shots.
Late at night on Jan. 18, an employee at a Mesa La Quinta Inn & Suites phoned police to report that someone had been pointing a rifle from a fifth-floor window.
“A couple of the guests have come to me,” the La Quinta Inn worker said, according to the Arizona Republic. “I’m an employee and they’ve come to me and they’ve told me that somebody is pointing a rifle outside of one of the windows in our building.”
A woman later told police that she and a colleague were in Mesa for a Dollar General training conference and that Shaver had invited them into his room for “shots,” according to the report.
She told police she saw a case in Shaver’s room that contained a gun and a dead sparrow.
“Shaver told her he was on a business trip with Walmart and his job is to kill all of the birds that get inside the buildings,” according to the report. However, Walmart said Shaver was not a Walmart employee.
Shaver’s wife, Laney Sweet, said on Facebook he would travel from their Texas home to Mesa a few times per month to service pest removal stores.
The woman told police that Shaver and her male colleague started messing with the rifle, pointing it out the window. Her colleague later left the room.
When the officers arrived, they called Shaver on the phone and asked them to exit the room.
The woman later told investigators that she heard police yell at Shaver because he was not “following protocol.” She then saw police shoot him and “saw him go down,” according to the report.
But moments before he was killed, the woman said, he was crying, saying: “Please don’t shoot.”
Body camera footage shows that during the confrontation with police, Shaver was on the ground with his hands extended above his head, according to the report. At one point, the report stated, he tried to raise his body.
“If you do that again, we are shooting you,” an officer said, according to the report. “Do you understand?”
Shaver responded: “No, please don’t shoot me.”
Authorities said no weapon was seen on Shaver, but it was unclear whether he had one.
An officer told Shaver to crawl toward them.
Sobbing, he said, “Yes, sir,” and started to move.
Once he reached the area where the woman’s purse was, the report stated, “his left hand moved across his body and around the purse in order to crawl past it. Shaver was audibly sobbing as he crawled.”
The report stated that Brailsford’s rifle was pointed down the hall until that point.
“Brailsford then swung his rifle back toward Shaver where Shaver could be seen with his braced left hand and his right hand moving back toward his waist with his elbow raised behind him,” according to the report. “Shaver’s head appeared to be down with his face looking at the carpet.”
The report stated that “multiple voices” began to say “don’t” as “Shaver’s hand moved back toward the front of his body.”
“Brailsford fired his first shot as Shaver’s hand was moving toward the front of his body and as at least one officer was heard saying ‘don’t,'” according to the report.
Authorities said Brailsford fired about five shots.
Shaver, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene.