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. ken

    This wouldn't have happened if everybody else was armed too.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. james

    Can't say that I really feel too sorry for this one dead officer when as a result of their cowardly shoot first ask questions later policy, hundreds, maybe thousands of citizens are murdered and written off as "potential threats" annually by the police who are supposed to be serving and protecting instead of killing. Only in US and a couple of other police states is the punishment for being loud, drunk, agitated, senile, mentally handicapped, angry, uncooperative, or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time... an instant death sentence. What's worse, this is perfectly acceptable "policing" to the general populace who are grossly ignorant of how real police, not armed missionaries, carry out their job in civilized countries.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • biff mcguzzle

      I know there are some good cops out there and some lousy ones. Some are among the dumbest people I know. My solution is to just never call the cops for anything. Inviting a moron into your life , a moron with the power to tazer, shoot, or arrest you if he feels like it is not a good idea. It is a shame that the good ones get lumped in with the idiots, but a little bit of death goes a long way and a jerk with a gun, criminal or cop , is all the same to me.

      November 10, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
    • mslch

      hats off for biff

      November 10, 2012 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Todd2323

    While I don't agree with his comment, please know you're an idiot for saying your an "idiot." That is all.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Verbert

    Some people find out too late that they really have no business even touching a gun in any emergency situation.
    My condolences to those who need it. No one is immortal.
    We will all die at some point anyway. Let's avoid the mistakes, eh?

    November 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. North to Alaska

    I would rather have cops shoot their own then kill innocent people.
    People who have bad training have bad accidents.
    I would rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

    November 10, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • David Iganov

      Dude, it's THAN, not THEN; stop butchering the English language.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Amy T

      This is a horrible tragedy. There is a family hurting and an Officer who is trying to cope with what he has done. It was an accident. We have all screwed up and it is not fair that MOST of you are BASHING !!!! Both of the families and the Police Force need our deepest prayers.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. 1608

    I know how stupid this must sound to some, but cops are people too. To that some, it's time for bed.

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

      That sounds logical, but to many cops are seen as sub-human trigger happy mass murderers.

      November 10, 2012 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dwight

    Sad to hear.

    November 10, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Marshall

    Rather see a badge and gun toting bully get the bullet than an unarmed civilian.

    November 10, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. goinmad2009

    Everyone should be allowed to carry guns in public. (note my tongue in cheek).

    My point is....if this scenario is possible, I wonder what would happen if someone pulls a trigger in public. Last man standing....wins !

    November 10, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. hojojoe

    No one likes to read about a shooting of any kind, especially an officer. But this simply highlights how cops turn to deadly force without regard or warning. You can't tell me the officer warned the "shadowy figure" first, or tried a tazer or called for back up. He did what all cops do...deadly force first. What if it were a teenager, or a youngster with a toy gun? This guy shot at a figure in the dark. period.

    November 10, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      You are absolutely wrong. READ THE STORY. The officer gave loud verbal commands and got no response.
      READ THE STORY.

      November 10, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • chrisamorgan

      How weird, I've been a cop for 8 years and never once, even on calls involving weapons, have I seen anyone immediately go to deadly force options.

      November 10, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Sean,

      He gave "loud verbal commands" to a person he could not SEE, then he killed them. Oops! It's about time your bubble was burst. Welcome to how the rest of America feels when we see you retards pulling up, anywhere.

      November 11, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Biden

    Awesome!!! It's about time!!!

    November 10, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Go eat a turd.

      November 10, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jon

    Most of you people on here make me sick! Saying the cop went right to deadly force when the article clearly states the cop who shot yelled out commands but the victim did not reply. I am sure none of you have any idea what we deal with daily. You watch an episode of cops and that makes you experts. If you are not a cop or a law officer of some kind shut your uninformed mouth. Do the job then run your mouth off.

    November 10, 2012 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Marvelite

      Jon, thank you for being the first comment on here to at least speak maturely about this subject matter. The fact that there are so many people willing to condemn all Law Officers as bullies who deserve to die or be brutalized is pathetic, ignorant, and sad. As a Veteran, I regard Law Officers with the same respect as my fellow Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors. While I understand there are officers, just like military members, that aren't worth their weight in salt... there's no reason for all this unwarranted hate.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • djade

      He's a murderer, plain and simple...

      November 10, 2012 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. halleluljah

    Good policy. Shoot then ask questions.

    November 10, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. massoud

    I bet the D A tries to press murder charges on the 3 individuals who were in the house . Cops are never wrong in the eyes of a D A, No culpability whatsoever in the system.

    November 10, 2012 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
    • goodcopbadcop

      In what world do you live in that you think police officers don't get held accountable for their actions? Police get held to a much higher standard than the reset of the civilian population. Go check the media...they love doing stories on cops that get into trouble.

      November 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bignuts

    must have been a woman cop

    November 10, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Deadman1975

      You bring up a good point, I think most assume it was a male. Not saying anything about one gender or the other as cops.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
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