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Phoenix-area police department fires officer accused of murder

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PHOENIX — A Phoenix-area police department has fired an officer accused of second-degree murder, it was announced Monday.

The Mesa Police Department said Philip Mitchell Brailsford’s termination was effective immediately following a hearing. He has 15 days to appeal the decision.

Brailsford was charged earlier this month in the shooting death of Daniel Shaver.

Brailsford, along with other officers, responded to a call of a suspect pointing a rifle out of a room window at the La Quinta Inn and Suites near Superstition Springs Boulevard and the US 60.

Officers surrounded the room’s door and ordered two suspects — a male and a female — to come out of the room on their hands and knees. When officers ordered the female to crawl toward them, she complied and was arrested.

However, when the male suspect, Shaver, was ordered to crawl to officers, he allegedly made a slight movement toward his waistline. Brailsford then allegedly opened fire, hitting Shaver five times and killing him.

“After carefully reviewing the relevant facts and circumstances, we have determined that the use of deadly physical force was not justified in this instance,” Maricopa County Bill Montgomery said in a release.

Last week, a court put Brailsford on supervised release.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sam Myers said pretrial release conditions are not meant to punish people charged with crimes but are intended to ensure their appearance in court in the future. The judge said Brailsford posed no risk of skipping out.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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