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. Ethan

    all cops have itchy finger like to pull trigger period......

    November 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • thinkbeforeyouspeak

      @Ethan your statement is an example of a gross generalization that is simply untrue. My husband is in his 27th year in law enforcement and has never fired his gun during a call and trust me he has been on some pretty scary calls. We should all try being kinder gentler beings.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • 1608

      Bless him and may it stay that way. your city/town should thank him for his service, I always thank my friends. Three I use to beat up as children.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • eric

      so true actually respect is always the best way

      November 10, 2012 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
    • eric


      November 10, 2012 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JCN


      November 10, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Yes, your husband is the exception. And if you ask drivers to rate themselves, you find out 88% of drivers are "above average".

      Sorry thinkbeforeyouspeak, but that is just the way things are. As soon as somebody gets a badge and a gun, they turn into a$sha+s. Google "Stanford prison study".

      November 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • larryb

      cops need to think before they shoot...usually it is not at each other but they are very quick to pull the trigger here in portland

      November 10, 2012 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
    • HanValen5150

      Cops don't think. That's why they become cops in the first place.

      November 10, 2012 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      when you are walking into danger its a bit hard not to react to the slightest abnomality. I sure the victim didn't react to the command because he wouldn't expect to be commanded.

      November 10, 2012 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sonic10158

      Are you talking about the war in Iraq that more than half of the Democrats said yes to in 2003 or the war in Afghanistan where the Democrats almost unanimously said yes to in 2001?

      November 10, 2012 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. James

    rule number 1 if you dont know what your shooting at dont shoot. I learned that at the age of 6 guess this cop missed that lesson in gun safety. he deserves to go to prison for murder cause thats what he committed

    November 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Trevor Bryant of Flagstaff, AZ

    It's not sad... it's justice. Would this even be news if it had not been another cop? Nope. Happens to innocent bystanders more than can be believed. You just don't hear about it. Cops come from the word "coppers", which is itself a sobriquet attached to the metropolitan police, when they were (themselves) a gang... fighting against the "municipals" police force... a private gang for rich people not already affiliated with a gang. It is what the real Gangs of New York was actually about. Look it up. Cops are a legal gang, or a "gang-hunter'... but they are still gangs and operate exactly the same.

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

    If only the victim had a gun he could had protected himself...

    November 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ


      November 10, 2012 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Shawn White

      I dont agree with most gun control laws, but I give you props for a witty post.

      November 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Scott

    1. A family has lost a husband and father. They have my condolences – their lives are forever changed by this.
    2. The cop who shot him is going to wear this the rest of his life. I wouldn't be surprised if he/she's suicidal. What a horrible situation.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • TF

      I totally agree Scott. Many on here are happy a person is dead. A wife will never get to see her husband again. Two children will grow up with out a father. The other officer who killed him will be tortured for the rest of their life. Yet the only thing many on here can do is post so many negative things. I feel bad for the people on here who are happy someone is dead. Makes me wonder what they are really like. My philosophy is the true feelings of people come out online thanks to the anonymity of the internet.

      November 10, 2012 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Seatac-Tac

    I bet that the officer that fired the fatal shot had an excuse already to clear himself until he found out he shot one of his own. Doh! Here's the protocol for something like this. If the person that died had not been an officer, the firing officer would had said his life was in danger as the suspect didn't comply with his demands and because he feared for his life. Case closed and the firing officer becomes a hero, get a key to the city and probable gets a promotion. Anyways, the officer that killed his own probable saved an innocent life down the road since he will no longer be an officer and he was to happy to shoot first and ask questions later.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wildernessyes

    Guns are a menace and they all need to go.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mefiant

      Too bad these guys didn't have better training.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mackenzie57

      I agree. No more guns! Yes I know the reason. Guns don't kill, people do. Hellooooooooooo? People with guns kill!

      November 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. edocol

    R.I.P. Officer Davies.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mackenzie57

      RIP. Tragic

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

    The officer who fired the fatal shots should be arrested and charged with murder. He opened fire on an individual and he could not even tell who or what he was firing at–GENIUS.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mackenzie57

      Speak after you have to do what these cops do. Put their lives in danger every day.

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

      I agree that the cop should be charged and prosecuted for murder.

      IF he had shot and killed anyone else, it would all just be written up in their "reports" as "the officer feared for his life."

      In this case, they cops couldn't claim anything other than what happened... the shooter cop shot without immediate need, clearly. The shooter cop killed another human because he shot without immediate need. You don't shoot at a shadow .......... and then later claim you saw that shadow holding a gun... because you can't see in the dark.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scottish Mama

    Condolences to the family of James Davies.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RestoreAmerica

    Pay back for the "shoot first ask questions later" policy. More poorly trained, highly paid cops. No sympathy here...

    November 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Police officers make an average of $43,000.

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

      Exactly. The Courts have condoned cops shooting first and asking questions later for too long.

      EVERY DAY we see cops murdering UN-armed people and the courts protect them.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John Vance

    Even in the hands of experienced personnel, guns can be discharged at the wrong time towards the wrong person, they're funny that way.
    As the owner of multiple guns and 2nd amendment supporter, I see this as a reminder that you don't want weapons widely scattered about and brandished casually. Keep your guns locked-up and get them out only for the range or the field.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NanookoftheNorth

    My God, Colorado has certainly seen it's share of tragedy lately !!
    Condolences to Ofc. Davies family and fellow officers.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ells

    Was this a hit?

    November 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 2paramedic

    Cops are notorious for shooting and killing. Nothing is done. It is always justified. So this time he got his own. If you don't want this to happen, then teach cops not to be so quick to shoot, teach them not to fire until the gun is empt, only fire one or two shots and see what you hit. Any other words, teach control. Control is important when you carry a gun.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
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