PHOENIX – The murder trial of former Mesa police officer Philip “Mitch” Brailsford is coming to a close.
On Thursday, jurors heard from the final witnesses in the case. Closing arguments are set for Tuesday, and then the jury will begin their deliberations.
Thursday morning, the prosecution finished cross-examination of Brailsford. Prosecutor Susie Charbel went back and forth with Brailsford, questioning his repeated claims that he did not want the shooting of Daniel Shaver to happen.
“So at that moment, you did want to shoot him, correct?”
“No ma’am,” Brailsford replied.
“So, you were just being reckless when you shot him?”
“No, certainly not,” Brailsford replied.
“Were you being careless?” asked Charbel.
“No, ma’am,” Brailsford said.
“Was it an accident?” asked Charbel.
“No, ma’am,” Brailsford replied.
“So, you wanted to shoot him and you shot him?” asked Charbel.
“No, I did not want to shoot him, ma’am,” Brailsford replied.
“Well, if it wasn’t an accident and it wasn’t carelessness and it wasn’t recklessness, then you intended to shoot him, correct?” asked Charbel.
“I was doing what I needed to do to protect my fellow men and the woman we had just taken into custody,” Brailsford replied.
Brailsford testified on Wednesday that he believed Shaver was reaching for a gun in the waistband of his shorts.
Charbel challenged Shaver on his memory the night of the shooting in January 2016 because he did not remember some of the details of what happened that night.
“This was a very traumatic event, was it not?” Charbel replied.
“Absolutely,” Brailsford said.
“But you did not remember a lot of the details of what happened that night, correct?” Charbel asked.
“I’m not perfect and I had my Axon body camera running at that time. So, that was going to be the best type of recording that we could have,” Brailsford said.
He is charged in the shooting death of Daniel Shaver at a hotel in Mesa in January of 2016. Shaver is from Texas. Officers went to the hotel on a call that someone was pointing a rifle out a window.
Before ending his testimony, Brailsford reiterated that he 100 percent believes Shaver was reaching for a gun and that if the exact situation were to happen again, he would make the same decision to shoot.