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. Steve

    Don't police have flashlights to flash into someone eyes to blind them and to help them see????

    November 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. coderjones

    Bad situation for an urban street soldier
    Wonder how the courts will treat the shooter – most likely – not at all

    November 9, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. bonzo

    and its colrado that passed the legalization of mary jane? 2funnY

    November 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. JaredTC

    I'd say I felt bad for them, Naw that's karma for all the innocent people you arrest,shoot and get sent away everyday.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 2tidbitsandadrink

    What was the race of the officer who killed this man? Do let us know.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • banasy©

      And this has bearing on what happened...how?

      November 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sumguy

    The reason this happened is most police departments have unspoken policy of "dead me tell no tales" or in other words shoot to kill. If the shooter had aimed low, this police officer would be alive today.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Wounded gunmen shoot back fool. Dead one's don't. That's why cops shoot to kill. By the way, you can die in seconds from a leg wound if it hit's your femoral artery.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I am 60 years old now, but it seems to me that when I was a kid growing up I was once told that it was illegal to shoot to kill but the officer was supposed to hit the legs or otherwise injure the suspect in order to put them out of commission,
      If this is true, when did the rules change?

      November 9, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      What the hell are you talking about? There is no unspoken policy of "dead men tell no tales," Police officers are trained to shoot for the largest portion of a person's body, which is center mass and contains most of the vital organs. Shooting low, or shooting to injure, only invites opportunity for the officer to miss their target and strike an innocent bystander. Again, I truly wish you idiots would refrain from commenting on things you know absolutely nothing about.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      At least 30 years.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • mslch

      jay, that means you need to shut up then

      November 10, 2012 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Aimed low? Look, I am no cop supporter and I honestly think this shooting stems from the fact that police are generally speaking a bunch of trigger happy morons, but your comment just displays your absoute ignorance of firearms, training, and general common sense. NOBODY is trained to shot low or to try and injure with a firearm, NOBODY. Quit watching TV and thinking it is real life. They don't shoot knives out of peoples hands and they don't shoot people in the leg. They aim for center of mass because this is the best possible way to stop the threat immediately. Jesus how do they make people so misinformed so numerous?

      November 11, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Hide Behind

    Have watched grown boys fight to see who would walk point, just for the chnce to rack up a kill, their image then made their cherry broken. Oh what a thrill for the first kill.
    The poor Humg hunter lay brains and guts everywhere his short clothing mixing red with greeHe had sat awaiting a pig short little bow in hand. The luey looked down and then at point who now had the bow for a trophy to send back home.
    "Good shooting private. And someone radio in one enemy killed looking for more, Whose turn now to walk the point.
    Conteary to the weeping willows and their mates on vivarin men like the hunt and once the pack gathers for the hunt it isn't itchy fingers but length of a didgir they seek to increase among members of the pack.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • dakattack

      umm, what?

      November 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matt Williston

    Why is it that hunters are constantly excoriated for firing blindly, yet an officer who does the same is somehow "a victim"?

    November 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Brian

    We have so many police in this country they get in each others way. We must have a million cops when you add up all the jurisdictions.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hey

      Hey dummy...If the United States has a population of 311 million (2011 census) and there are 1 million police officers, do the math. Thats 1 officer for every 310 people. Still think there are too many police officers?

      November 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. don

    Sad story. It does sound like this cop was scared to pull the trigger so fast. What happened to identifying yourself, first? May condolences to both families. I'm sure the shooting cop feels terrible, and some officers may not trust him now. That said, most law abiding citizens love to see cops, especially in today's crazy world. Sure, no one likes to be pulled over, but I respect the jobs they do everyday of the week. Lastly, if I were a cop with some of these crazy people out here, I would shot a lot of them. LOL.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. msfaye2u

    in their desire to shoot and kill living things. or just the ability to finally use a weapon strapped to their sides and only able to use it at the shooting range, a human to actually shoot and kill, is just to much of a temptation to resist. what ever happened to "stop, drop the weapon, and put your hands up". dead men tell no tales of police abuse and if it had been the suspect he would have been given the high 5 at the station. this time it backfired. sorry for the cops family because of what happened with a twitchy fingered coworker. when i need a cop i want one there otherwise don't shoot and kill me bro i am an outstanding citizen not a potential criminal engaging in criminal activity.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Otelonom

    Trigger-happy, over-aggressive cops are – unfortunately – a reality.

    An Arizona police officer who has shot seven people in 10 years is drawing national scrutiny.
    Two US police officers beating a homeless man to death, as he cried for help.
    Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Shoots Jaywalker 6 Times in the Back, Then Executes Him at Close Range

    A police officer who shot a three-year-old to death is to die by hanging, a Lagos High Court Judge, Olabisi Akinlade, ruled. Ms. Akinlade said the punishment would serve as a deterrent to other police officers who cut short the lives of innocent citizens.
    Maybe we could all learn a thing or two from from a African High Court.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. fritz

    Why should this cop get off scot free for wrongly killing someone? Because he wears a badge? What's good for the public is good for the cops. Charge the idiot with negligent homicide for not identifying his target before firing. Then he can go to prison just like any of us would. How do you like your gun happy donut eating job now, idiot!?

    November 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spencer Shaw

      Because he made a mistake and saw a man with a gun, not realizing it was a cop. No different than the father that shot his son, didn't realize it was him. That doesn't fit the charge of Murder.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Yeah, who's the idiot? The cop dispatched to a shots fired call and made a terrible mistake, or people like you that have zero idea of what it's actually like to be a police officer.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • mslch

      dumb and arrogant guys steve wouldnt make a good cop

      November 10, 2012 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. Just Me

    Wow, poor officer.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom Hartman

      He could make a gun....pistol....in the dark....but not the gunbelt, badge, etc.....oh my...maybe he should have waited another few seconds...nowhere does it say the dead cop was aiming at him....

      November 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 1608

    Some people should read before they post.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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