Wife of man shot, killed by police at Mesa hotel files $35M notice of claim

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Police said Daniel Shaver was not fully complying with officers' commands. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Police said Daniel Shaver was not fully complying with officers' commands. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Texas women has filed a $35 million notice of claim against the City of Mesa after officers shot and killed her unarmed husband at a Mesa 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."

The officer-involved shooting happened in late January at a LaQuinta Inn. Police were responding to call about a man with a gun who was spotted in the window of one of the rooms.

[RELATED: Officer-involved shooting at a Mesa La Quinta Inn leaves man dead (Jan. 19, 2016)]

[RELATED: Woman questions husband's shooting by police at Mesa motel (Jan. 23, 2016)]

Daniel Shaver, Sweet's husband, was the occupant of that room.

Mesa Police Department spokesman Steve Berry said officers ordered Shaver and the woman who was with him to go into the hallway.

Berry said Shaver did not fully comply with the officers' commands and reached toward his lower back. The officer who fired believed Shaver was reaching for a weapon and was an imminent threat.

Shaver was shot several times. Emergency responders pronounced him dead at the scene.

He was not armed.

The officer who shot Shaver has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure any time an officer fires his of her service weapon.

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."

Sweet also said police did not contact her until four days after the shooting. 

"I had to do my own investigating after not hearing from him/him not showing up to work, that led me to call every hospital, jail and police station searching for answers," Sweet wrote on a GoFundMe page she set up. "Unfortunately, I did finally find him when calling the local coroner. No one had the respect or empathy to call me and our children and tell us that Daniel had been taken from us." 

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."

Sweet said her husband traveled to Mesa for his job two or three time a month and had stayed at hotel on several occasions.

Marc Victor is representing Sweet. Filing a notice of claim is the first step in filing a lawsuit. State statutes requires notice of claim include "a specific amount for which the claim can be settled and the facts supporting that amount."

No other information about the notice of claim was immediately available.

By Wednesday night, more than 350 people had contributed more than $18,723 to the GoFundMe account.

"I was encouraged to start this fund by those who have expressed their willingness to help during our grief and loss," Sweet wrote, describing Shaver as the "love of her life."

"We are raising money for immediate needs like his cremation/memorial service, an attorney to properly investigate and for traveling expenses to travel to be with his family during this time,"

Questioning what happened to her husband, she also promised to share updates as she learned more about the investigation.

"None of this adds up," she wrote.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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