The family of an unarmed Texas man shot dead by police inside an Arizona hotel last week are demanding authorities release body cam footage of the shooting, which they claim was a homicide.
Daniel Shaver, 26, a traveling businessman from Granbury, was fatally shot by a police officer on January 18 inside the La Quinta Inn in Mesa.
Police were called to the hotel amid reports of a man pointing a gun out the window of a fifth-floor room.
According to Shaver’s family, the father of two traveled with two pellet rifles because of his work with pest control.
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Killed: Daniel Shaver, 26, a traveling businessman and father-of-two from Granbury, Texas, was fatally shot by a police officer on January 18 inside the La Quinta Inn in Mesa, Arizona. He is pictured here with his daughters Natalie, 6, and Emery, 3
Scene: Shaver was on a business trip to Mesa, Arizona, where he travels for work often. Police were called to his hotel, the La Quinta Inn, around 9.20 p.m. on January 18
Devastated: Laney Sweet, Shaver’s wife, does not believe her husband would have seemed threatening to police and has demanded answers
Six officers arrived at the scene around 9.20 p.m. and said that Shaver was found in his room with a woman.
The woman complied with police and left the room, however officials said Shaver was difficult.
Mesa Police Detective Steve Barry said Shaver repeatedly reached toward his lower back, concealing his hands.
‘Based on the initial report of the suspect having a gun, not complying with commands and reaching behind his body, the officer felt threatened and discharged his weapon, striking the suspect,’ Barry told The Tennessean.
Shaver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Barry confirmed that Shaver was not armed at the time of his death.
The pellet rifles were later found inside the room.
According to Laney Sweet, Shaver’s wife, the way police have explained the incident does not sound like something her husband would do.
Family torn apart: Daniel Shaver is seen here with his wife, Laney Sweet, and their children Natalie and Emery
‘All of the details are not clear right now,’ Sweet told the newspaper.
‘Daniel passed away in the hallway of his hotel, unarmed. His friends and family are hurting. We want to know why the officer felt justified to fire his weapon.’
She added to Fox 4: ‘What justified six police officers feeling so threatened?’
On a GoFundMe page set up in the aftermath of Shaver’s death, Sweet wrote that the officers were wearing body cameras and requested to see the footage.
She also said that there were two people in Shaver’s room at the time the police were called – a man and a woman – and that the two were guests at the hotel who had befriended Shaver.
She believes someone must have been holding one of Shaver’s rifles.
Laney Sweet says her common law husband, Daniel Shaver, was wrongly shot by police in Mesa, Arizona
‘I want to hear the 911 calls and see what footage is on the body cameras,’ Sweet told The Tennessean.
‘My kids deserve answers to make as much peace as possible with a horrible tragic situation.
‘We want to know why my husband is dead.’
The couple have two daughters – Emery, 3, and Natalie, 6
The officer involved in the incident has worked with the Mesa Police Department for two and a half years and is currently administratively reassigned.