Friends: Lakewood officer who mistakenly killed fellow officer is ‘amazing man’

Posted on: 9:30 am, November 12, 2012, by , updated on: 12:14pm, November 12, 2012

Officer Jim Davies, a father, a husband and a six-year veteran of the Lakewood police force, was accidentally shot Friday morning.

In the midst of all the confusion, fellow officer Devaney Braley, mistakenly thought Davies was an armed suspect.

This entire community is praying for two families in the wake of a chaotic situation.

“It was a bang, bang, bang,” one neighbor said Friday morning following the friendly fire shooting that left Davies dead in the Edgewater area. “It was just confusing, really.”

The shooting took place shortly after 2 a.m., when Braley and Davies were both responding to reports of a man firing his gun from a front lawn just west of Sloan’s Lake.

That man, 37-year old Joe Ruiz, was still behind bars at the Jefferson County jail on $25,000 bond Monday. 

Records show he has a long criminal record. Neighbors called him reclusive at best.

“I’ve lived (in the neighborhood) for seven years,” Patrick Flannigan said. “I think it was three years before the man ever said hello to me.”

Ruiz and two others were already in custody when officer Davies was accidentally shot.

“Officer Davies was in one yard, I believe the backyard of that house,” Davis said in a press conference following the shooting. “There were other officers on the other side of the fence and he was accidentally mistaken as an assailant with a gun.”

Davies, both a husband and a father, was only 35 years old. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m., and is being held at Denver First Church of the Nazarene.

According to his Linked in profile, Devaney Braley is an 11-year veteran of the Lakewood Police Department. He has his master’s degree from Colorado State University, and those who know him best call him D.J.

“Behind this horrible tragedy is an amazing man,” said one of Braley friends, who spoke anonymously with us over the phone. “beyond and before the badge, D.J. Is honestly one of the most kind, most gentle people that I’ve ever met, and that anyone could ever meet.

“And I know i speak for many of D.J.’s friends in saying that we love and support him unconditionally.”