Homeowner arrested in police friendly fire death

DENVER — Authorities on Sunday arrested the owner of the home where a 35-year-old Lakewood police officer was mistakenly shot by a fellow officer.

The homeowner, Joe Anthony Ruiz, is accused of firing gun shots that led to Friday’s deadly police response.

The 37-year-old is suspected of being a previous offender in possession of a weapon, tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment and other offenses. He was being held at the Jefferson County jail, The Denver Post reported.

Officers had been investigating reports of a prowler in the neighborhood early Friday when they heard the gunfire. Police then set up a perimeter around Ruiz’s house as they prepared to search the place.

The officer who was killed — James Davies — was in the backyard and was in full uniform when another officer behind a fence shot him, police said. Davies was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We knew going into this situation that night that there were guns, our officers had witnessed the gunfire,” Lakewood Police spokesman Steve Davis said. “Our awareness was on a heightened level.”

Davies left behind a wife and two young children.


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