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. J Krogue

    Hmm, second time this has happened in the last month. Maybe cops are going to have to start making sure they know whats going on before they decide to shoot and kill someone. I know they don't seem to care so much when its joe blow citizen but now that they are killing each other maybe they will be more careful.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. areyouforreal

    Trevor Bryant of Flagstaff, AZ
    So that is where the term "copper" came from? Did you even do the slightest bit of research into that or did you just come all on your own. Well to "cop" means to catch or capture. "cop" could also stand for "constable on patrol". Where on earth did to you get your non-sense theory of some gang?

    November 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephen Harper

      Ummmm....The first police officers in New York City had copper badges.....

      November 11, 2012 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
    • sir

      i t came from the buttons on their jackets. they were made out of copper.

      November 11, 2012 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    Glad it was another cop and not a citizen. These scardy cat cops are killing people all the time and never held accountable.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James Davies

    My fellow officer shot me because we are a bunch of knuckle dragging idiots. We have no training and are just bullies that hide behind the badge. Your neighborhood is safer now that I got whacked!

    November 10, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CausinAScene

    Don't you worry yourself into any sleepless nights..the three people "Detained" will be charged with something to draw attention away from the shooting...can't have cops killing each other and not have something planted or "Discovered" later in the "investigation....

    November 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Logic kills god

    The only good fascist is a very dead fascist.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. polycarp pio

    After this incident I believe we should revisit the laws that allow police ifficers to carry handguns. Now tell me how assinine thats sounds. PP

    November 11, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. travis_b

    Fortunately it wasn't an innocent bystander killed by trigger happy cops this time 🙂

    November 11, 2012 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • CA Liberal

      Shoot first, figure out what it was later.

      November 11, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    This is a complete travesty, and the officer responsible for his death should be charged with a crime. He did not identify his target, he did not see a weapon pointed at him, and he killed another human being because he was trigger happy. How can he "mistake" the officer, in full uniform, for a perp? This is what happens when you hire uneducated henchmen to do professional police work. Maybe the police will take a lesson from this one, as this time it wasn't an innocent civilian that they murdered, but it was "one of their own." Too bad, but at least it was them this time.

    November 11, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • C. Smith

      You weren't there you don't know how this all went down. This is a real death not some fodder for your entertainment. Your insensitivity, as you sit hidden behind your computer, is egregious.

      November 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • usamare

      Insensitivity? You don't think fatally shooting someone is a little bit more insensitive than a few hard words for the shooter? Really?

      November 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gecdkopelli

    2 birds with one stone.

    November 11, 2012 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. thepope

    God I just love guns!

    November 11, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. RH

    No, we don't expect cop to be perfect all the time, but we do expect a cop who is with SWAT training to be have a flashlight and be able to identify his target and know that the target was actually a threat. The folks involved were already under arrest, but someone had the bright idea to clear the house again. Mind you this is in a city in Colorado of less than 150K people, encompassing 50 square miles, which tell you how big their police agency is. Not very. More like sleepy hollow. Really how much crime can there be? The officer who killed his fellow officer killed another man 3 years ago. Quite sure that was warranted, since he stated "I had to kill hm or he would have killed me". The guy was and is a trigger happy PU$$Y!

    November 11, 2012 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. tonkinyachtsman

    Rule no. 1. identify your target.

    November 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. the prophet

    what a shame. this goes to teach all especially the Government that guns are not for anyone, band them all and use the money saved for education and preventive crime.

    November 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. George Welch

    The shooter should resign immediately. He should not have been in law enforcement to begin with. The tactic of hysterical screaming used by police today promotes panic in themselves and those around them. Best to call in the Girl Scouts in these situations.

    November 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
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