'Please don't shoot me,' pleaded unarmed Texas man before fatal Arizona police shooting

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Among Daniel Shaver's last words were "Please don't shoot me." Then he was shot by an Arizona police officer.

The details regarding Shaver's January death in a La Quinta Inn in Mesa, Ariz., were released Tuesday as part of a police report of the incident. The police officer who shot Shaver, Philip "Mitch" Brailsford, has since been fired by the Mesa Police Department and is facing a second degree murder charge.

According to The Arizona Republic, Shaver was visiting Mesa for a business convention and brought with him some equipment from his job in pest control. That equipment turned out to be a pellet gun used to shoot birds that fly inside buildings.


While entertaining some other convention-goers over drinks in his hotel room, Shaver apparently pointed the pellet gun out the window. Hotel guests in the pool who saw the pellet gun thought it was a rifle (if you Google image search "pellet gun for shooting birds" you might see why) and called the police.

Brailsford was among the police officers who responded to the report. When they arrived at the hotel, Shaver and a woman who was attending the convention were the only people in his room. Police ordered the two to leave the room into the hallway, and then get on their knees and crawl toward the officers with their hands in the air.

The woman complied and was arrested without incident, but Shaver appeared to have trouble understanding the officers' orders, possibly because he was intoxicated. A transcript of police body camera footage in the report shows police repeatedly yelling at Shaver for failing to follow directions.

"If you do that again, we are shooting you. Do you understand?" one officer said after Shaver briefly put his hands behind his back.


"No, please don't shoot me," Shave responded.

When he put his hands behind his back again, Brailsford, concerned that Shaver might have a handgun on him, opened fire. Shaver was unarmed, and court records suggest he may have been adjusting his sagging shorts. He died at the scene.


The Maricopa County Attorney ruled the shooting was not justified under the situation and charged Brailsford with second degree murder earlier this month.

Brailsford himself was fired by the Mesa police last week. In addition to shooting Shaver, he apparently previously had a service weapon with the words "You're Fucked."


That wasn't a warning sign at all.