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. Wilderness

    So sorry. 🙁

    November 10, 2012 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. uckermanf

    Ummmm....wait just one cotton-pickin' minute. That ain't a black man. Where is the black man that the policeman shot? This story is incredibly confusing. Are they seriously trying to make us believe that a cop shot a white man?

    The other cop must have been black? It would make sense if the shooter were black, since that is apparently what we do all day long. But it wouldn't make sense for the policeman that did the shooting to be black, since we aren't qualified to do such a job.

    Well, this is for certain...if the cop that fired the shot is black, he will be lynched for it. If the cop is white, there will be many calls for everyone to have mercy on him for having such a difficult job...God bless him.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. alkjhalkfa


    November 10, 2012 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. mike johnson

    .. too trigger happy ...

    November 10, 2012 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Leif

    He died in the line of duty. That is an epitaph that the worthy few will earn, and the less than worthy will mock.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
    • truebob

      I'm sure that will serve his kids well in their difficult times.

      November 10, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
    • yamadog

      He died doing what he liked best.

      November 10, 2012 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. ibuk

    All Police are trained only to shoot to kill, even then they are known to miss. A recent incident in Michigan, there was a naked guy with a knife in a parking lot, there was 8 police officer in a line all pointing guns at him. Instead of surrounding the guy and trying to take him down with a taser or use the dog (which they are trained for), the police choose to release their weapons at the target. Of the 40+ bullets fired by the officers only 11 hit their target.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
    • yamadog

      Some of those pigs just can't wait to use their weapons, gives them sense of "machismo", its in the DNA.

      November 10, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. jojo12

    It is very sad story for both of them.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. clarke

    How awful, I feel badly for everyone involved. May they all find peace somehow, some way. Rest in Peace and prayers to his family and friends.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. AAAnnoonn


    November 10, 2012 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Eric in San Diego

    I feel for both victims in this tragic situation. The officer mistakenly killed has no doubt a grief stricken number of family and friends dealing with this terrificly unfortunate mistake. For the officer who made it, I hope he can overcome the tremendous guilt he must be feeling. I have a major amount of respect for law enforcement officers, the majority of whom are dedicated public servants putting themselves in harms way.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mi Poo

    This is such a tragedy. It probably could have been avoided it the officers involved had been trained properly and protocol was followed. I hope his family will find peace.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Han

      He did follow protocol. He probably yelled for the victim to identify himself and drop his weapon. The problem was that the victim didn't know the yells were for him. Big miscommunication lead to this tragedy.

      November 10, 2012 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. wildone


    Here in Upstate NY (Perry) a retired police officer was at a motorcycle gathering with his son (a current cop). They were staying at a motel and the son went in the room after his father had gone to bed. His father woke up to see someone in the dark and shot his son dead.

    Tragic. Just tragic.

    November 10, 2012 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. PaPilot

    They should not have even been there. It is not illegal to fire a gun, and they should not assume there is a reason to respond just because they heard shots. Cops should not get involved in anything unless they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.

    November 10, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • miscposter

      So discharging a firearm in the air is not illegal? Tell that to the girl who was shot in the head by a stray bullet as she left church. I guess it is only a crime if someone gets hit. So you say that cops shoudn't get involved unless they have probable cause that a crime was commited? So they hear gun shots, they should just sit around drinking coffee. What if those gun shots were some guy that broke into your house and expired you. Should they wait until the smell spreads into the neighborhood before they develope probable cause.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jemzinthekop

    Rest in peace officer. I'm sure you deserved much better.

    November 10, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Alkebu

    What ever happen to Identifying yourself and telling the perp not to move.... Sounds like the "Wild wild west".....

    November 10, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15