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. Jack

    That is what happens when cops are trigger happy, innocent people get killed

    November 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bob


    November 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. homer simpson


    November 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jack

    Yep, they got one of their own this time.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • kajol

      They should feel the same pain when they murder innocent people on lies,pretexts,and in the name of self defense
      Police have become licenced uniformed killers..

      November 10, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. Spencer Shaw

    Wow Mark, you are such a intelligent person. I wish I was you /sarcasm. Its unfortunate, Im sure the shooting officer feels like hell right now. Good luck to him.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      They deserve what they get... The have become a disgrace to this country...

      November 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      And I dont watch "cops" just in case the police somehow profit from it.. Wouldnt want to give them an extra cent of my money...

      November 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      So, all 1million of them are somehow a disgrace together? Thats pretty much a unsupported bias, not really anything useful. Sounds like you just don't like them, not that they are causing it.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      So, "Marine Combat Vet here fool" was you bring a moron on the internet– What exactly does that mean?? And how do you call someone a moron when your own comment sounds like it was written by a child?? Ha

      November 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Obama

    Police are cowardly idiots, and should never be allowed guns... Sounds like a hit to me, you can see a gun but not a full uniform and badge.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      Wow! Your conspiracy is SO SMART! I wish I was as smart as you!

      November 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      If the officer was backlit, then yes, you may not be able to see the badge.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Spencer Shaw

    how many times have they? Prove your examples instead of making assumptions on a topic you don't know. You probably watched cops for 30mins right?

    November 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom Hartman

      Watching COPS at all will only result in watching COPS on good behavior. What do you expect it to show?

      November 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • J Krogue

      I might not be an expert but it seems to me basic gun safety is to know what your are shooting at before you shoot. Like when you go hunting you should maybe make sure you are actually shooting at a deer instead of your hunting buddy. Pretty basic.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge Vasquez

      Shoot first...

      November 11, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Are you telling me that you can't use Google either? We know you can't shoot well, but even cops should be able to perform a Google search.

      November 11, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tee

    Oh it was still high fives all the way around with those officers.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    Spencer Shaw- 4 weeks ago boarder police opened fire on each other. 1 being killed when shot in the head.. Does that work for your genius self?? Ha..

    November 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      Yeah, congrats. You cited a case of 2 other Law Enforcement Officers out of the over 1 million. Yay you.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Dawson

      What a crude and foolish thing to post.

      November 10, 2012 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • dufus

      I wouldn't mockingly call anyone genius if I could not spell border.

      November 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gloria

    Police who accidentally kill anyone should not be a cop ever again.

    If you crash a delivery truck you loose your job. If your a cop and accidentally kill someone they brush it aside???

    READ THIS ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    November 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • edocol

      you can't "loose" a job.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • wobbles

      Funny, i see plenty of people who have accidents in their job-even with fatal consquences–who continue in their careers. The thing is, you expect cops to be perfect, and no human being can be perfect. And given their positions where they can be seriously injured or killed if they fail to act within the space of seconds, accidents are all but inevitable. The higher the stakes, the worse potentiol for things to go bad. It's just ahrd for people who have never been in real danger in their lives to come to grips with that idea because they have no frame of reference. How many people really play for those high of stakes at anything in their life?

      November 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gloria


    THEY SHOULD GET A NEW CAREER WHERE MISTAKES DONT KILL SOMEONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    THIS IS WRONG AND NEEDS TO CHANGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      Oh my goodness. You are so freaking stupid. Just leave.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • M

      You're right Gloria, they should let go of people like doctors and nurses too! When someone accidentally dies on their watch! What a great idea. You could also put in truckers, firemen, EMT, pilots, basically anyone that's had an accident that has killed someone. That would fix our economy in no time! I'd glad you are a Police Officer Gloria and know the stresses of the day to day job to make a sound judgement like you have.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Homen

      @M I think your comparing apples to oranges, if a person accidently kills someone out of negligence maybe an office job would be more appropriate. If being a public servant is too stressful for you...then lose the gun and badge.
      You would do America a great service by not being a police officer.

      November 10, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. 1608

    So if you think of all police as clowns and trigger happy, who do you call when you need help? I know mom and pop.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Marine Comabat Vet here fool.. No one calls the guy who got beat up in high school believe me.. Good bye to you dead cop....

      November 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      Mark, then don't call them. Fact is, America needs law enforcement. Im surprised as a military vet you'd be so angry to a police officer. Doesnt make sense to me.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Why dosent it make sense?? I just dont care for them due to their actions in recent years.. And whats wrong with me liking that they killed themselves rather than a citizen?? They need to remember that they are public servents and not our rulers...

      November 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      Your talking about over 1million different people of different genders, race, and backgrounds. That's no different than a cop assuming all black people are bad, than it is for a person to all cops are bad. Law Enforcement is needed; the mistakes are shown much much more than the actual benefit. The news never shows when a Negotiator saves a family and suicidal man, only when something crappy happens.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1608

      Mark don't the Marines have police and police ARE citizens too.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Yes, we had MP's. Happily I was not one of them.. I actually had a combat occupation..... What does that have to do with anything.. We didnt care for them either...

      November 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • wobbles

      You are disgrace to our Corps, Mark. If you truly were a Marine, which I highly doubt.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ajdallas44

    I have to ask why the shooter was so quick to pull the trigger. Unless the other officer had the gun aimed at him, why did he feel the need to shoot? I'm slow to second-guess an on-the-spot decision, but it sounds like the shooting cop was looking forward to squeezing his trigger.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      He shot because he saw a man with a gun. He fired quickly because action is faster than reaction, and its very easy to get shot if you don't shoot first. He didn't see the uniform unfortunately.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Except, Spencer, this is a residential area of the United States; not an Iraqi desert.
      These are cops; not soldiers.
      They are policing Innocent Until Proven Guilty US Citizens; not terrorists,

      Jesus H. Christ, even soldiers in the field on an op like this would either a) stay in contact, or b) identify the target first. Friendly fire is an exceedingly RARE event considering how many bullets the military pops out.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • wobbles

      You are rtight, they are not in the Iraqi desert. There, rules of engagement were FAR looser than the ones cops live under. If it is a threat to a grunt, you kill it. If it turns out not to be a threat, oh well, you are alive and life goes on. If a cop makes that mistake they get crucified. And there are no fewer people trying to kill cops than there are running around the desert trying to kill troops. I think it would be amusing to watch cops play by war rules. You'd soon appreciate how much restraint and good judgment they actually use.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. advocatusdiaboli

    And way more times are police officers shot at first during DV encounters, traffic stops, and routine stops. While police are supposed to take risks, they still have families and want to live just like anyone else including criminals. If you expect police officers to martyr themselves to give criminals the benefit of shooting first, who would take the job? No one.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      Thats just dumb this guy died because he did not react to his coworkers command he did not even realize he was talking to him a mistake that should not have happend officer did not act in an agressive manner just non responive never said he turned and pointed gun at officer giving commands does not make sense retrain or make him retire

      November 10, 2012 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
    • mr3lopez

      you are right!!!! my life or your life and i am not going out.

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

      None of the liberal cop bashing cowards posting here would ever dream of taking a risky job where they might face death or injury. They just like to pretend they are superior because it makes them feel better about being cowards and being protected by someone braver than themselves. Their animosity is just an outward sign of their interior feelings of inadequacy at being unwilling and unable to defend themsleves. They have a need to dehumaize cops because inside their resent that another person is doing for them what they lack the charachter, integrity, and bravery to do for themselves. It cheapens what little manhood they have to be know themslves to be cowering in the shadow of the people who are willing and able to do what they cannot. Cowardice is a cancer and this is the outward sign of their disease.

      November 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • J Krogue

      Police volunteer for a quasi dangerous job. The citizens that they mistakenly shoot, don't volunteer for any such danger.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • J Krogue

      Uhm they don't know if they are dealing with a criminal or not. They are not a foreign occupying force, it would be nice to see americans enjoy the same level of protection from US cops as the Afgans do from US troops.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • CA Liberal

      Good idea. No one should take that job.

      November 11, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    advocatusdiaboli- No one should shot until they know what they are shooting at.. This has been forgotten in recent years by these clown police.. Just happy it wasnt a citizen this time.. You cannot just go blasting at whatever you feel like.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      Its all in the perception of a person. As an vet, Im sure you would know this. That's not different than one soldier shooting a civilian and me saying everyone vet and armed forces member is a "clown".

      November 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Well, then I am glad i was never a soldier then.......

      November 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
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