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Report: Man pleads ‘please don’t shoot me’ before death by Phoenix-area officer

The victim, Daniel Shaver, is shown. (Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — The victim in a fatal shooting involving police plead for his life with the officers before one allegedly struck the final blow, according to a newly-released police report.

The police report in the death of Daniel Shaver, released Tuesday, quoted the man as saying “please don’t shoot me,” sobbing and appearing panicked before being fatally shot in a Mesa hotel room on Jan. 18.

Former Mesa Police Officer Philip Brailsford has been charged for the second-degree murder of Shaver and has since plead not guilty.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said prosecutors are considering offering Brailsford a plea deal in place of going to trial.

Officers, including Brailsford, responded to a call on Jan. 18 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 in Mesa.

Shaver and a woman were ordered to exit the hotel room and crawl toward officers. The woman, who had met Shaver in a hotel elevator and was drinking alcohol with him, complied with police orders and was not hurt.

When 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.

No weapons were recovered from Shaver’s body, but officers found two pellet rifles in the hotel room, which they later determined were related to his pest control job, police said.

Brailsford told investigators that Shaver was ordered to crawl toward officers with his hands on the ground, but the officer believed Shaver’s move forward was an attempt to get “a better firing position on us.”

The officer said he could no longer see Shaver’s right hand and worried that Shaver could have easily drawn on officers, who were just feet away in a hallway outside his room.

“So that’s when I assessed the threat. I fired my weapon, uh, five times,” Brailsford said, adding that it was terrifying the first time Shaver reached back.

Maricopa County prosecutors and Mesa police have declined to release video of the shooting from Brailsford’s body camera.

In a YouTube video posted on Tuesday, Laney Sweet, Shaver’s wife, called for the release of the video tape.

Sweet also claimed in the video, which contains an audio recording between her and two men who she identified as Montgomery and her former attorney, that she was “silenced” by Montgomery when she attempted to watch the body camera footage.

Brailsford was fired from the department on March 21 for several policy violations, including unsatisfactory performance.

Other records released by Mesa police show that Brailsford was accused of using inappropriate force when he and other officers took three people into custody several months before Shaver’s death.

Brailsford also was accused of violating departmental policy by using a rifle that had profane language etched onto it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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