Police: Denver-area officer mistakenly shot, killed by fellow officer
Lakewood, Colorado, police Officer James Davies, 35, was fatally shot by a fellow Lakewood officer Friday morning.
November 9th, 2012
07:15 PM ET

Police: Denver-area officer mistakenly shot, killed by fellow officer

A Denver-area police officer was fatally shot by a colleague who mistook him for an armed assailant early Friday, authorities said.

James Davies, a 35-year-old police officer in Lakewood, Colorado, was shot outside a house that he and fellow Lakewood officers including the firing officer were checking after hearing shots fired there, police spokesman Steve Davis said.

The firing officer, whom police haven’t identified, thought Davies was an armed threat in the dark of night, the spokesman said.

“This has affected our entire department very, very deeply,” Davis told reporters Friday afternoon. “I don’t think it could have a more tragic set of circumstances.”

The incident started when an officer, searching for the source of gunfire that had been heard in the area, saw someone firing a gun on the porch of the home in Lakewood, Davis said.

A number of officers, including Davies, arrived at the home and took three people into custody in connection with the gunfire. Preparing to enter the home a second time to search it for anyone else, officers surrounded the building, with Davies standing in the backyard, Davis said.

In a neighboring yard, on the other side of a fence, an officer saw Davies with a gun and didn’t know he was a police officer, the spokesman said.

“It’s my understanding that the firing officer could see either a silhouette or enough lighting to see someone with a gun, and mistook him for an armed suspect,” Davis said. “Apparently there were some commands given, but quite frankly everyone seems to think Officer Davies thought that the other officer was in contact with someone else, and was giving commands to that person.”

Davies, in full police uniform, would have had little reason to believe that the shouting officer was commanding him, Davis said.

The second officer shot Davies, who died at the scene, the spokesman said.

Davies, who had been with the department for more than six years, had a wife and two children. The department’s chief spent part of Friday consoling Davies’ family.

“You can imagine the anguish that the other officer is going through right now,” Davis said. “We feel like we have two victims in the department, to be quite frank. That officer is really having a difficult time with what happened last night.”

The incident will be investigated by a team of detectives from several agencies in Jefferson County, and a district attorney would decide whether to charge the firing officer after getting the investigators’ report, Davis said.

Police didn’t say what prompted the gunfire that attracted the officers to the home. The three people who had been detained hadn’t been arrested as of Friday afternoon, Davis said. He said he didn’t know whether they would be charged.

soundoff (363 Responses)
  1. joe

    How come he didn't identify himself as a police officers? That the question I'd be asking

    November 10, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. john

    He something black and decided to shoot it. It's Denver after all.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. DP

    That's just an every day occurrence in America, shoot first then ask questions, and these are supposed to be the people who are trained to use weapons. America is destroying itself !!!!!!

    November 10, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. ROCKWOOD

    Holy cow......I just can't imagine how the other officer feels. R.I.P. to Davies and may his family fine some peace and I sure hope his fellow officer gets some help. There has to be some technology to have to reduce such dangers. Like a transmitter or something that they 'good guys' would wear...... Very sad.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. lindaluttrell

    Depending upon the type of uniforms the cops were wearing, it seems strange that his partner did not know his location at the time or was unable to identify him. Something does not sound right here.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Daily Llama

    Horrible news ........

    "Officer down!" By friendly fire. Doesn't get any more unfortunate than that ......

    Hope Denver P.D. remembers him as the hero he was.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. What you own owns you

    The Shield

    November 10, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. walt

    This incident, like any other police shooting will be investigated. I would ask if the shooting officer was carrying a flashlight, but that's moot at this point. Such a life altering tragedy for all involved. Best Regards.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. walt

    Seems that I just read about another accidental shooting in Memphis, as one police officer shot another in the back, intending to shoot at a hostile dog in the house they were serving.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. jimmy

    here's a question; what was the ethnic race of the people taken into custody?

    November 10, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • a little sad

      and this is relevant why?

      November 10, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Adrian

      cause black people are guilty!

      November 10, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Adrian

      not just sometimes! seriously!!! why did you even have to ask???? someone on the front porch firing a gun!!! Of course they are black!

      November 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. RightSmackAtCha

    Don't charge someone else with this. Everyone has to be held accountable, or the society itself crumbles with distrust. People will be watching this for the fair outcome, and they'll make their own judgement on it.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. ruthie

    they all think they are above the law. love it

    November 10, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Adrian

      ruthie is black too!!

      November 10, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bazoing

    This is very sad. Generally the person that gets killed in this sort of mess is perfectly innocent. However, the police are being increasingly trained to be gun happy. This is plain criminal negligence. There is only one victim. Note that the police are more broken up wen they recklessly kill one another than when they kill us.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. stacy12

    the cop was set up probably was a whistle blower as the saying gos dead men cant talk

    November 10, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. What you own owns you

    Since the people took the marijuana business away from the cops in Colorado they are going to be looking for other sources of income.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
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