Ex-Arizona police officer acquitted in fatal hotel shooting

Ex-Arizona police officer acquitted in fatal hotel shooting

Brailsford, who worked for the Mesa Police Department for about two years, was sacked following the shooting.

The verdict cleared Philip Mitchell Brailsford, 27, of criminal liability in the death of Daniel Shaver, a married father-of-two from Granbury, Texas.

Shaver was shot at a hotel in the community of Mesa as officers responded to a call that someone was pointing a gun out a window. As he inched forward, he reached toward the waistband of his shorts.

Once they arrived at the scene, Brailsford ordered Shaver to leave his hotel room, lie face down in the hallway corridor, and not make any sudden movements, or he could be shot.

"There are no winners in this case, but Mitch Brailsford had to make a split-second decision on a situation that he was trained to recognize as someone drawing a weapon and had one second to react", his attorney Michael Piccarreta said.

Prosecutors accused Brailsford of being too fast to pull the trigger, and alleged that Brailsford may not have even been looking at Shaver when he pulled the trigger.

While no gun was found on Shaver's body, two pellet rifles related to his pest-control job were later found in his room. Brailsford, who is no longer on the force, was on trial for 2nd degree murder and reckless manslaughter - until the jury returned not guilty verdicts Thursday on both counts. The circumstances that night that were presented led him to conclude that he was in danger.

Shaver's widow, Laney Sweet, and Shaver's parents have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the city of Mesa over the shooting death. He also said he felt "incredibly sad" for Shaver.

The former cop had served as a police officer in mesa for two years, before he was sacked for violations of departmental police, including unsatisfactory performance.

He is one of the few police officers in the U.S.to be charged with murder for shooting someone while on duty.