Mesa police release evidence in officer involved shooting

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The evidence in a case where a man was killed by a Mesa police officer at a hotel has been released. The officer says he thought the man was reaching for a gun.

The documents, photographs, and audio recordings were released, but Mesa Police say they are not releasing the body camera footage.

Officer Philip Brailsford and the other officers who responded were wearing body cameras that captured the entire shooting.

Police are not releasing the video, but in the report, they describe what is seen. They also spoke to a witness who says she heard the victim begging police not to open fire.

Officer Brailsford's rifle is one of the reasons he was fired. Inside the dust-cover, they found unauthorized etching containing profanity. The officer fired the rifle five times in the hallway at a La Quinta Inn after staff called 9-1-1.

"A couple of the guests are coming to me, I am an employee, and they tell me someone is pointing a rifle outside of one of the windows in our building," said an employee on the 9-1-1 call.

Daniel Shaver was in his hotel room with another hotel guest who he invited to have a drink when officers ordered both out. She was there when the officer opened fire.

"He was even begging for his life, like don't shoot, and I don't know what he did, but the cops shot him," said Monica Portillo.

In a case file released the officer told his side of the story. He claimed when Daniel Shaver was crawling towards the officers Shaver reached toward his waist; Brailsford perceived that as a threat.

"A million things are racing through my head... the first time he reached behind his back it was terrifying, I didn't know if he was reaching for a gun, or if he tried to reach for it, or if he was manipulating something behind his back. Honestly, at that point it was just terrifying, it happened so fast," said Brailsford.

In the report his fellow officers corroborate the story, telling investigators they gave the victim clear verbal commands, and he was moving in an aggressive manner.

When they went inside the hotel room, they found an air soft rifle used in his job as an exterminator. Brailsford was fired from the Mesa Police Department last week and has been charged with second-degree murder.

Attorneys are fighting to keep the body camera footage out of the public view. It will likely be a central aspect of the murder case.

The officer is due back in court in May, but his wife claims attorneys are already talking about a plea deal.