The grieving widow of a former Nashville resident is questioning the circumstances that led police to fatally shoot her unarmed husband inside a suburban Phoenix hotel.
Daniel Shaver, a 26-year-old traveling businessman who graduated from Hillwood High School in 2007, was fatally shot by a Mesa Police Department officer on Jan. 18 inside a La Quinta Inn, according to family and police.
“All of the details are not clear right now,” Shaver’s wife, Laney Sweet of Granbury, Texas, told The Tennessean on Monday. “Daniel passed away in the hallway of his hotel, unarmed. His friends and family are hurting. We want to know why the officer felt justified to fire his weapon.”
Mesa Police Detective Steve Barry said officers responded at 9:20 p.m. to the hotel at 6530 E. Superstition Blvd. after two guests at the hotel swimming pool reported seeing a person pointing a rifle out of an upstairs hotel room.
Police located the room and ordered its occupants to come out, Barry said. Shaver and a woman exited the room, and police detained the woman without a struggle, Barry said. But investigators say Shaver did not comply with police commands and reached toward his lower back several times, concealing his hands.
“Based on the initial report of the suspect having a gun, not complying with commands and reaching behind his body, the officer felt threatened and discharged his weapon, striking the suspect,” Barry said.
Emergency personnel responded and pronounced Shaver dead at the scene.
No weapons were recovered from Shaver’s body, Barry told The Tennessean. Detectives did locate two pellet guns inside the room, which investigators determined were related to Shaver’s pest control job, Barry said.