Woman questions husband's shooting by police at Mesa motelPosted: Updated:
A Texas woman said Saturday she wants to know what led police to fatally shoot her unarmed husband at a suburban Phoenix hotel.
"I could not see my husband doing anything irrational but until we know the facts, we won't know what happened," Laney Sweet, of Granbury, Texas, told The Associated Press. "As of right now, the facts that I know - something doesn't sound right and I have two children without a father."
Sweet said she has hired two attorneys to help seek out police reports, body camera footage and any other information about the shooting death of Daniel Shaver.
Police were called Monday night after two guests at a Mesa hotel swimming pool reported seeing a man point a rifle outside a fifth-floor window. The guests immediately called police, said police spokesman Steve Berry. Officers located the room and found Shaver and a woman inside. They instructed both of them to go to a hallway outside.
According to Berry, the woman was detained without incident but Shaver did not comply with officers. Police said Shaver reached toward his lower back several times. Berry said an officer believed there was a threat and fired his weapon, hitting Shaver. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No weapons were recovered from his body. Investigators located two pellet rifles in the hotel room, which they later determined were related to Shaver's pest control job.
The officer who fired the fatal shot has been with the department for more than two years, Berry said. As dictated by police protocol, he has been put on administrative duty but police have not released his name.
Sweet described Shaver, the father of two girls ages 6 and 3, as a "people pleaser" with a laid-back demeanor.
"Everyone's in disbelief he could have supposedly done something so aggressive that the cops could have gone straight to using a weapon and shoot to kill," Sweet said.
In a statement, police promised the incident would be fully investigated.
"The investigation is currently on going and all evidence and statements are being completed to be presented to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for an independent review. A key piece of evidence of this case is the on-body camera video which captured the incident."
It was not clear if Shaver at some point displayed one of his pellet rifles out a window. Berry said he could not comment on any statements made by the woman who was detained or disclose anymore details.
Sweet said her husband had been talking with a man and a woman. But she did not know if it was work-related or he had just met them at the hotel. She last spoke with him about two hours before the shooting.
She is also angry that police did not contact her until four days after the shooting, despite her leaving numerous messages inquiring about her husband.
According to Berry, the closest next of kin investigators found was Shaver's father. Police spoke with him Tuesday morning and he said would inform Sweet and other family members about Shaver's death. There was no indication that Shaver and Sweet were legally married, Berry said.
"In Texas, we are legally married and that's the end of it," Sweet said. "There is no reason for them not have called me."
Police agencies across the country have been under scrutiny for use of deadly force, especially cases that result in the death of an unarmed person. A fugitive wanted in Phoenix was fatally shot by police in Las Vegas last month after officers mistook the cellphone he was carrying for a weapon.
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