A Mesa, AZ, police officer who shot and killed a Texas man at an East Valley hotel in January has been charged with second-degree murder.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed the direct complaint against the officer late Friday, KNXV TV reports.
The complaint alleges that Officer Phillip Mitchell Brailsford's use of deadly force was not justified when he shot 26-year-old Daniel Shaver at the La Quinta Inn near U.S. 60 and Superstition Boulevard.
Officers responded to the hotel just after 9 p.m. on Jan. 18 after guests at the pool reported seeing a man pointing a rifle outside a window above.
Officer Brailsford found Shaver and a woman inside a hotel room on the fifth floor, according to police. The officers ordered Shaver and the woman out of the room and into the hallway. Both complied, and the woman was detained by police without incident.
Montgomery said Shaver was ordered to his hands and knees, and as he moved towards officers, he made a motion with his hand toward his waist. Officer Brailsford, reportedly feeling threatened, then fired five shots, striking Shaver throughout his body and killing him.
Police have said that Shaver was unarmed before he was shot. A pellet rifle was found in the hotel room. His wife says her husband used the gun for his pest control job. She has filed a $35 million lawsuit against the Mesa Police Department.