Lakewood officer killed in friendly fire

The week before Thanksgiving break, solemn services took place to honor fallen Lakewood police officer, James Davies.

On Friday November 9th, Davies was shot and killed in friendly fire by fellow Lakewood officer, Devaney Braley. Both the officers were responding to a call reporting gunshots. Davies and Braley were working the overnight shift on Thursday and were on the call in the area of 1900 Eaten Street.

Lakewood officers had the source of gunshots, a home west of Sloan’s Lake, surrounded during an investigation in which they arrested three people and were searching for more.  Davies sacrificed his night at home with his wife, Tami, and his two kids, 6-year-old Chloe and 2-year-old Ethan to an extra shift.

In a backyard enclosed by a 6-foot-tall wooden fence and surrounded in the early morning darkness mixed with the chaotic barks of wound-up dogs, Braley was on high alert for anything that could be considered (or in this case, mistaken) a threat. Over the wooden fence, Braley was able to make out an unknown person with a gun. Braley ordered for the weapon to be dropped, and sources say Davies likely thought he was talking to someone else. Receiving no response, Braley fired over the fence and hit Davies.

Officers received word that someone had been shot and began to reorganize their positioning. Radioing Davies with no response provoked uneasy nerves, so officers began to search. Davies was pronounced dead when they found him.

Almost a week after the shooting, preparations for the service took place on Tuesday the 13th. Horan and McConaty funeral home in Lakewood hosted a memorial service for Davies. The service included six different Colorado police departments along with the U.S. Honor flag, which, according to the website, has been in numerous locations for memorials; funerals for public safety and military heroes, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, numerous state capitols, the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, Presidential Libraries, the U.S. Combat Theaters, and various other locations to honor and commemorate every police officer, soldier, and firefighter.

The service was held on Thursday the 15th of November at the Denver First Church of the Nazarene. An estimated three thousand people attended the hour long service. The service was followed by a procession made to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, accompanied by two fire truck ladders suspending a flag.