MESA, ARIZONA —Daniel Shaver, a 26-year-old father of two from Granbury, Texas, was fatally shot five times by Mesa Officer Philip Brailsford using an AR-15 rifle on January 18.

Responding to a call that evening that someone was pointing a rifle out of a hotel window, Mesa, Arizona police quickly arrived at a La Quinta Inn on Superstition Springs Boulevard at about 9:20 p.m.

As a pest-control contractor who reportedly worked for Walmart, Shaver travelled frequently with several pellet rifles for work. A man and woman also staying at the hotel on business said they met Shaver and were invited to his room for drinks. Perhaps showing off a bit, Shaver showed them the pellet rifle and Shaver and the man began playing with it. One of the two men then reportedly pointed the gun out of the window.

Police quickly found Shaver’s room and ordered the occupants to exit the room and lay on the ground. Shaver was then reportedly told to kneel with his hands on his head. An alleged slight movement by Shaver as he shifted positions apparently led Officer Philip Brailsford to believe Shaver was reaching for a weapon, and even as he begged for his life, Shaver was shot dead in the hotel hallway. Photos from a Go Fund Me page show a bullet-ridden floor and a blood-soaked carpet.

Shaver leaves behind his long-time partner Laney Sweet, and his two daughters, 6-year-old Natalie and 3-year-old Emery.

Officer Brailsford has been fired and charged with second-degree murder. Shaver’s family wants body cam footage from the two officers on site that day released, but the state and the defense are trying to have the video sealed.

Was this all just a tragic misunderstanding? Or is ex-officer Brailsford a trigger-happy murderer?

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