Attorney: Mesa police officer 'stunned' by murder charge

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Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford (Photo source: KPHO/KTVK) Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford (Photo source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

An attorney for a Mesa police officer accused of shooting an unarmed man at a hotel says his client is stunned that he now faces a second-degree murder charge.

[RELATED: Mesa police officer charged in fatal shooting]

Defense attorney Craig Mehrens said Saturday that Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford believes he acted within the guidelines of what he was taught as a police officer.

Police were called to a hotel Jan. 18 after guests reported seeing a man point a rifle outside a fifth-floor window.

They say Daniel Shaver allegedly made a motion with his right hand toward his waistline while crawling toward officers.

Maricopa County prosecutors say Brailsford unjustifiably fired five shots, killing Shaver.

Attorneys representing Shaver's wife in a planned civil suit against the city of Mesa said the charge is the first step in achieving justice.

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