James Davies shooting: DA sees no crime in tragic friendly fire killing of Lakewood cop
Braley told investigators that he looked into the backyard and saw an east-to-west privacy fence that separated the residence from the apartment building directly to the north -- and on top of it, he caught a glimpse of what he thought was a Hispanic man with a shaved head holding a black, semi-automatic pistol.
In response, Braley yelled, "Police, drop the gun. Drop the gun," but the man didn't do so. Instead, Braley said, the man started to raise the weapon in his direction. Believing he was about to be shot, the agent fired first, striking the man in the head
He and other officers then cautiously made their way to the other side of the fence -- and upon their arrival, the agent who got there first began saying, "No, no, no...."
He saw the police patch on the man's jacket first -- and then his face. The person Braley had shot was Agent James Davies.
A great deal of legal reasoning follows this section of the letter, but here's the crux of DA Weir's argument against filing charges in the shooting:
In the final analysis, it cannot be disproven that Agent Braley's acts of self defense were reasonable. There was no question that this area had been riddled with gunfire earlier in the evening. The residents of the home had not confessed to firing any weapons and they were not in possession of any weapons when police searched them. Adding to the concern, magazines and ammunition were in plain view in the residence but no weapons were seen by officers. An officer believed that he had seen lights go on and off in the basement [the house didn't have a basement; apparently, he'd seen a reflection] when the residents were exiting, which would seem to indicate that other individuals may be still in the home. While the shooting had ceased after the residents had been evacuated from the home, no one was sure that the shooter had been located. Agent Braley had been told by a fellow officer and a supervisor at the scene that the house was not yet safe and that a shooter may still be in the area. When he saw an armed individual looking over the fence at him and when that individual failed to follow commands to drop the weapon but instead raised it towards Agent Braley, Agent Braley was justified in using lethal force to protect himself.Continue for more about the James Davies shooting, including the DA's decision letter.