Cottonwood police video captures deadly shooting
Dashcam video shows Walmart parking lot brawl
A Cottonwood police video released Friday appears to show an officer shooting a man who was laying on the asphalt in a Walmart parking lot after fighting with a downed officer.
Cottonwood Police Chief Jody Fanning said that Enoch Gaver, 21, had disarmed Sgt. Jeremy Daniels and had shot him in the leg. He said Gaver was still armed with Daniels' gun when Officer Rick Hicks started hitting him with a baton.
After Hicks determined the baton had no effect, he resorted to shooting Gaver to death, Fanning said.
Hicks also shot and wounded David Gaver, who also had been on top of Daniels and had charged towards Hicks, Fanning said.
Hicks initially was placed on leave after the March 21 shooting, but he went back on patrol Friday night.
PREVIOUSLY: Idaho family behind fatal melee at Cottonwood Walmart
PREVIOUSLY: Cottonwood Walmart brawl leaves 1 dead, officer shot
"The preliminary investigation has given me enough evidence to place him back on duty,'' Fanning said, adding that he believes Hicks' actions were justified.
The shooting occurred during a brawl between up to eight members of the Gaver family and at least four police officers. The video released Friday by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the investigating agency, was captured by a dashboard camera and indicated the fight lasted for about seven minutes.
"The officers did a very good job of restraining themselves,'' Fanning said. He said they only resorted to deadly force when the Gavers left them with no other choice.
The incident began when a female Walmart employee tried to use a women's restroom and was prevented from doing so when she was pushed out of the way.
1 dead, officer shot in Walmart brawl
Police are seen in another video snippet arriving at the scene, where a large group of people are standing near a Chevrolet Suburban. The brawl ensues almost immediately after the third and fourth officers arrive.
Fanning said he still does not understand why the Gavers chose to fight his officers, rather than simply speaking to them. He said the likely outcome of the call would have been a misdemeanor citation with no one going to jail if the Gavers had not escalated the incident.
"I have no reason why they decided to fight us,'' Fanning said.
The officers and the Gavers are seen punching each other on the video. At some point, an officer attempts to use a stun gun to bring the Gavers under control, but that appears to have little effect.
After Daniels is seen on the ground, struggling with one of the Gavers, Hicks is seen using the asp to strike the man. Later, Hicks pulls out his gun. The video captures the flash from the gun's muzzle.
But even the fatal shooting doesn't end the brawl. Additional officers arrive on the scene and fight with other members of the Gaver family to bring them under control.
Five Gavers were arrested by police and booked into the Yavapai County Jail on a variety of charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer, hindering prosecution and resisting arrest.
The family was well-known in Boise, where at least three members played in a Christian band outside an Albertson's supermarket, where they would post a sign with a Biblical verse. The band was known as Matthew 24 Now, an apparent reference to the Second Coming.