PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The Maricopa County Attorney has filed charges against a Mesa Police officer, charging him with murder.
Officer Phillip Brailsford responded to a call where a man was reportedly pointing a rifle outside of a hotel room window. While making contact with Daniel Shaver, Brailsford opened fire, claiming that Shaver was reaching for a weapon.
"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.
Brailsford has an initial court appearance date set for March 15, 2016.
"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."
Daniel Shaver was a traveling businessman in Mesa for work when he was shot and killed by police after a call of a person with a gun at the hotel.
Shaver's wife says her husband was a family man in town for business.
"I can't imagine that he would have ever done anything that justified them feeling six officers were so threatened for their life," said Laney Sweet.
Sweet has started a GoFundMe.com page to raise money for an independent autopsy. On the page, she says he was unarmed when he was shot. Mesa Police are not confirming or denying that claim but did issue a statement.
The family has hired an attorney Marc Victor to pursue a $35 million dollar lawsuit against the City of Mesa.
And even though Victor says with a conviction can come closure, nothing could ever bring back the husband and father of two.
"We can't put into words the effect that this has had on my client, and I think for her, the fact that there's been a second degree murder charge there is some degree of peace. That we're on our way to getting justice here, and until today there's just a police officer who shot and killed her husband and nothing's happened," said Marc Victor.
Mesa Police released a statement Friday afternoon in response to the charges as follows:
"Today the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed a Direct Complaint with the charge of second degree murder to Mesa Police Officer Phillip Mitchell Brailsford stemming from the officer-involved shooting on January 18, 2016. The Maricopa County Justice Court issued a summons ordering Officer Brailsford to appear on the charge.
Mesa Police completed the investigation on February 9, 2016. At that time the case was turned over to the MCAO for review.
Our Department respects the criminal process and continues our full and complete cooperation with the
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office as this case moves forward through the judicial system. All inquiries should
be referred to the MCAO."