PHOENIX –Maricopa County prosecutors filed a Direct Complaint today charging a Mesa Police Officer with second degree murder for fatally shooting a suspect during an incident that occurred last January at a local hotel. Philip Mitchell Brailsford has been summoned to answer the complaint at an initial court appearance scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on March 15, 2016.
“The use of deadly physical force by law enforcement is governed by Arizona law and is always a tragedy when the loss of life results. After carefully reviewing the relevant facts and circumstances, we have determined that the use of deadly physical force was not justified in this instance,” said Maricopa County Bill Montgomery. “Accordingly, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has filed one count of second degree murder, a class 1 felony and dangerous offense, against Philip Mitchell Brailsford. This office will prosecute this case with the same degree of professionalism as we do any other, recognizing the due process rights of the defendant, the rights of the victim and the victim’s family in pursuit of a just result for all.”
On January 18, 2016, Mesa Police Officers responded to a report of a subject pointing a rifle outside the 5th floor window of the La Quinta Inn & Suites on East Superstition Springs Boulevard. Officers went to the 5th floor and took positions outside room #502. Multiple verbal commands were issued for the occupants to exit the room. A female and a male subject, later identified as Daniel Shaver, exited the room and were ordered to get on the floor in the hallway. After the two complied with the commands, the female was instructed to crawl toward the officers and was taken into custody without incident.
Daniel Shaver was then ordered to crawl towards the officers. As he moved toward the officers on his hands and knees, Shaver made a motion with his right hand toward his waistline. Officer Brailsford then fired five shots, striking Shaver throughout his body and killing him.
The charges announced today are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.