COTTONWOOD, Ariz. — Police at the scene of a deadly brawl outside a Wal-Mart store in a small Arizona town deployed electronic stun guns and made multiple efforts to stop a large family from attacking them, according to a video recording released last week.
But one officer was injured and one man was killed during the violent confrontation in which officers were tackled to the ground and put in choke-holds. Eight officers suffered minor injuries, including cuts and bruising. Another Wal-Mart employee who tried to help suffered a broken arm.
The video released by Cottonwood Police reveals how the confrontation unfolded on March 21 after officers were called about a Wal-Mart employee being shoved. The family involved was living out of a Chevrolet Suburban SUV with Idaho license plates, police said.
The melee resulted in the non-fatal shooting of Sgt. Jeremy Daniels, who can be seen throughout the video being attacked and struggling for what appears to be his gun. Enoch Gaver, 21, was killed in the confrontation; 28-year-old David Gaver was shot in the abdomen but has since been released from the hospital and is being charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
The brawl broke out after police tried to separate the family members while they investigated the incident that took place inside the store. Several men punched and shoved the police officers, who used batons to fight back while yelling commands telling the suspects to get down. At one point, a suspect had an officer in a choke-hold on the ground as others around him threw punches.
Around two minutes in, several men tackle Daniels to the ground, holding him down as they punch and kick him. The officer is seen struggling with a suspect for what appears to be his gun before it goes off.
Daniels was shot in the leg during the confrontation. He crawled off to the side before another officer administered aid.
But the confrontation continued for another three minutes as one suspect refused to get on the ground after being repeatedly told to do so.
Police arrested 55-year-old Peter Gaver, 52-year-old Ruth Gaver, 27-year-old Nathan Gaver, and 29-year-old Jeramiah Gaver on different charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and hindering prosecution. Court documents show some of the defendants have been assigned attorneys, but they are not identified.
Two juveniles were also arrested but not identified.
The Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident. A spokesman said Friday the department will conclude its investigation in about a month.