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. Just asking

    Why do police shoot first before aquiring the target as one that needs to be shot. I used to live in a time when the police were your friends and weren't afraid of the people. Why has this gone horribly wrong? You sure can't ask questions of a dead man. (What is ths one going to be? One week leave with pay and a warning?) When the citizens of the US are treated as terrorists or roadside bombers in Iraq, The country and government will fail.

    November 10, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • just answering

      I truly wish we still lived in those times, but we don't. People now shoot at the police with deadly results. Many people also carry a concealed firearm these days. People have Aks and ARs and they will use them. If people were informed of every violent crime that occured in your city, you would be afraid of the people around you. You wouldn't leave your house. It was only a few months ago in the city that I live in , that subjects fired an two officers in a marked patrol car as they drove by. If subjects aren't afraid to shoot at two armed police officers, what would they do to civilans.

      November 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ghost

    Colorado Cops are some of the most trigger happy in the nation. Shoot first and check to see if its the guy on your bowling team later.

    November 10, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. cgkai

    Reading so many of the immature and insensitive comments here makes me sad...Not only on a personal level, but rather for pathetic level to which some subset of humanity has reached. Shame on you. I'll bet you wouldn't be able to say such things to the devastated officer or the family of the deceased if you were face to face...

    November 10, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Roger None

    I wonder if Davies had uncovered some corruption within the police department and his killing was deliberate? Or was the shooter high, stupid, badly trained or had a beef with Davies?

    November 10, 2012 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. 45acp

    another reason why the police shouldn't have guns.

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

      I agree

      November 10, 2012 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      Well I would not think you can be fired on if you dont follow commands and not acting agressively damn lose your life like this

      November 10, 2012 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • miscposter

      Cops have guns, because criminals have guns. So according to your statement, the Army shouldn't have guns either because of the Pat Tillman accident. I hope you never have to call the police to come save your sorry self.

      November 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Just asking

    From the following posts: Does that mean that this is a shoot first and ask questions later nation? If so, then we are already in rebellion.

    November 10, 2012 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. fearlessdude

    This guy broke the basic rule: The police is here to protect the police.

    November 10, 2012 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Guest

    This is pretty much a case of what we call "depraved heart murder." AKA reckless homicide (firing without identifying target).

    If it were a civilian dying, it would be collateral damage.

    November 10, 2012 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. randomcnn

    This is why cops are supposed to coordinate and cooperate on the walkie talkies together. Maybe if they knew where each other were going around the perimeter there wouldn't have been any confusion. Instead, the loose cannon cop has no idea of the situation he is involved in and shoots a fellow officer.

    Every time a cop approaches someone with a firearm, whether the victim is armed or not, they always shoot to kill. Can't say any of you are heroes or that you risk your lives when you, ARE ONLY OUT TO PROTECT YOURSELVES.

    November 10, 2012 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. ib42

    A terrible accident. That is all. My only regret is that a shot to disable or incapacitate would be preferable, since he had the time to think and was not under any immediate threat>
    All words. Nothing can change this tragedy. Just feel very anguished at the young man who lost his life as well as his family, but spare a shot for the other cop, who pulled the trigger. He will never get over this.

    November 10, 2012 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Paris Miller

    Trigger happy police ? Kill Kill Kill !

    November 10, 2012 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lori

    He should be made to pay for the family's loss income plus pain and suffering.

    November 10, 2012 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. caseythebrash

    It's obvious no one here has any experience with the dynamics or science of shootings. This is a tragic event that ruined a family and most likely ruined another man's life.

    November 10, 2012 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Yep, it is obvious. I mean if they don't agree with you, obviously they are not as smart or "trained" as you are, right Rambo?

      November 11, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. mr3lopez

    what ever happen to flash lights

    November 10, 2012 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sean

    Oops. My bad.

    November 10, 2012 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
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