Lakewood officer ID'd in fatal friendly fire incident

7:05 AM, Nov 10, 2012   |    comments
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It happened just before 2 a.m. Friday morning when a series of shots rang out through a neighborhood near 20th Avenue and DePew Street. The shots woke neighbors and sparked a large-scale police search.

In the end, for the first time in the history of the Lakewood Police Department, an officer was killed in the line of duty. 

Davies was married with two young children. His parents are from England and are on their way to Colorado.

Related Story: Killed Lakewood officer leaves 2 kids, wife behind

"We feel like we have two victims in the department to be quite frank," Steve Davis with the Lakewood Police Department said during a press conference.

Davis says James Davies was assigned to a special-enforcement team and was in uniform at the time of the shooting.

"First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers to his family," Davis said. "We appreciate the outpouring of condolences and love that we are getting from the departments and the public. It means a lot."

"I heard a round of shots, there was definitely distinctive shots," Scott L. Smith, a neighbor said. "Maybe 20 minutes later, I heard pop, pop, pop."

Police say officers were in the area investigating report of a burglar when they heard the shots. Then, over the next hour, more shots were fired intermittently causing police to call for assistance in locating the origin of the gunshots. The area was cordoned off and searched with officers from Denver Police, Edgewater Police, Lakewood Police, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

Steve Davis says an officer then spotted a man firing shots from his porch at 1940 Eaton Street. Davis says police officers then approach the home arrested three men for discharging a firearm.

Investigators say more officers arrived and began to secure the perimeter of the home.

Davis did confirm that the suspects were in custody at the time the officer was killed. Police say the officer was not transported and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The home of the suspects did contain several large dogs.

According to Lakewood Police, two or three of them are pitbulls. Police are investigating whether attempts to control the dogs played a role in the shooting of the Lakewood officer.

Patrick Flanagan lives next door to 1940 Eaton Street. He said his neighbor's dogs are quite "vicious."

"That's devastating, but that does not surprise me," Flanagan said. "Those dogs were very protective of that house for some reason or another I never went near them."

The area near 20th Avenue and Eaton Street has been shut down by investigators. Police expect the area to be closed for a while as the investigation continues. The names of the suspects has not been released.

Davis says this is a tough day for the Lakewood Police Department.

"It is like a family and these are the worst of the worst. You never want to lose one of your own people," Davis said.

Funeral arrangements are still pending. Contributions to the family can be made to the Foothills Credit Union. For more information, call 720-962-8200.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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