Former Nashville Resident Killed In Arizona

Posted at 11:28 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 00:56:14-04

The widow of a former Nashville resident fatally shot by a police officer in Arizona has spoken out and demanded answers.

Hillwood High School graduate Daniel Shaver, 26, was killed in January, but his wife said she still doesn't have all the details about what happened.

Laney Sweet currently lives in Texas, but now finds herself flying to Arizona for court hearings in the case.  She filed a $35 million wrongful death claim against the city of Mesa last month.

“It’s been a long journey,” Sweet said in a phone interview.  “You can’t grieve and start to heal because you don’t have answers.”

Shaver was staying at a La Quinta Inn and Suites in Mesa, Arizona while on a business trip on Jan. 18th.

Officers were called the hotel around 9 p.m. when guest reported seeing a person with a gun in a fifth story window.  

Officers arrived at Shaver’s hotel room where he was visiting with two people he met at the hotel. Shaver and a woman were ordered to leave the hotel room and told to get on their hands and knees.

The woman was apprehended without incident. Records show while on his hands and knees, Shaver moved his right hand toward his waistline. 

Officer Phillip Brailsford shot Shaver five times with a personal A-R 15 that was approved as a service weapon. Shaver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shaver was unarmed at the time. Police later found two pellet guns in his room that he used for his job.

“Daniel did not do anything wrong,” said Sweet.  “He was in full compliance with the officers.”

Sweet said two officers at the scene were wearing body cameras that captured the incident.  While she is fighting for the video to be made public, Mesa Police say it will not be released until the investigation is completed.

Brailsford was charged with one count of second degree murder.  He will return to court for a preliminary hearing on May 16th.

The Mesa Police Chief said he has concerns about the shooting, and has recommended officer Brailsford be fired.  He will return to court on May 16.

An autopsy report on Shaver has not yet been made public. 

As Sweet continues to fight for answers, she has set up a Facebook page to provide updates on the case.

Sweet has also set up a gofundme account to help with funeral and legal costs.