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. tracy

    This is ridiculous . something is odd here . obviously the officer killed was not looking at , pointing at or engaging the officer who shot him in any way but he still shot to kill . why not just scream – hey you werearing the denver police uniform – drop your gun.

    November 10, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. tracy

    this was a set up . all the officers were probably on the take and needed to get rid of the guy not following along . so they lured Davies with this ruse. police officers wear hats that are very distinctive ,even in the dark their siluettes are very distinctive.

    November 10, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • randomguy

      Tracy....I am happy to know that there is someone in this country that was able to figure this out. I bet poor Davies must have left his distinctive lilttle hat in the car. Do you really think all cops where those hats? Stop believing what you see in the movies. It doesn't happen like that.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Oscar Pitchfork

    Hey-it's like Private Francis "Psycho" Soyer said in "stripes" : "All I know is that I finally get to kill somebody..."

    November 10, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. jon

    What, no bullet proof vests being worn during a dangerous gun call? What happened to identifying before shooting?

    November 10, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. queenofjupiter

    The dead officer looks pretty white to me. what are you talking about? you know, just because you are not white does not mean you cannot be a racist. you sound kinda racist. i do not automatically assume racism every time a minority kills a white person. question: with the hispanic pop. on the rise, do you soon plan to switch hatred teams and assume that all of their crimes are racist?

    November 10, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. Useless Eater

    This is another reason that we must ban guns. If cops did not have guns this would not have happened.....now if you'll excuse me I have to go and deposit my welfare check.

    November 10, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • MKR

      take your meds while you are at it.

      November 10, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • wutsgrammar

      nother reason cops need a tighter leash. Charges against those arrested will probablybe dropped and amped up al was just too itchy to smoke someone. Got your pal huh? It doesnt feel good from tht side does it?

      (RIP to the victim)

      November 10, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. AndromedaCrossing

    Someone shouldn't be carrying a gun if he can't properly identify a threat!

    November 10, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Knotty Boy

      If death by friendly fire was used to disarm police and military units, there wouldn't be very many of them left. Its sad, but it happens. All one can do is try to minimize it. Sometimes its the nature of the beast.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Meh

    Shoot and ask questions later.

    November 10, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. wreve

    police should require military training before being allowed on a force. rarely does this happen in the military

    November 10, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      I know that is not true... it's called friendly fire isn't it?

      November 10, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • wutsgrammar

      u joking? look up the stats. ever heard "friendly fire"?
      Cops didnt coin the term sweety.

      November 10, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • randomguy

      What kind of "military training"? Would the training by the Air Force be considered military training? I was in the Air Force and I never shot a hand gun while I was in. I know that Pat Tillman was in the Army and died due to friendly fire. Doesn't the Army get military training?

      November 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mikrik13

    There is more to this story.

    November 10, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. james ray

    They are a public health treat. This is just proff of what we are trying to tell them. They should not be on our streets with guns and clubs. Till they know when and how to use them.

    November 10, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. dennydog poster

    They meant to kill the other guy.

    November 10, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Guessing he was celebrating the weed victory beforehand.... At least this time it was one of their own and not an innocent bystander that was mistaken...

    November 10, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dasea

    It sucks that your friend died, BUT COPS AND WAR HAVE TURNED THIS COUNTRY INTO A BATTLE GROUND. The crimes aren't as bad when the Army and Cops stop making people crazy! There are always sickos but now are nation is turning sick

    November 10, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. vatoloke

    'Keystone Kops' but with real guns.

    November 10, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
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