Police release dash cam video of Walmart brawl

April 12, 2015

COTTONWOOD — Cottonwood Police Chief Jody Fanning released a dramatic eight-minute video Friday showing the Cottonwood Walmart brawl and shooting from March 21. The often-chaotic video was recorded by a dash cam installed in one police supervisor’s vehicle.

Fanning said he has “never seen anything like it.”

Initially, four officers arrived at the store after Walmart called police after Gaver family members allegedly pushed an employee against the wall when confronted in a restroom late that night.

Four more officers arrived after the struggle for Officer Jeremy Daniels’ gun after Daniels had been shot in the thigh.

Enoch Gaver, 21, who reportedly fired the shot while he struggled for the police weapon, was shot by Officer Rick Hicks.

Fanning said the brawl began when one officer said, “We need to separate these people.”

The father, Peter Gaver, responded, “There is no way you are going to separate my family.”

At that point, fists began flying and a chaotic scene ensued between officers with the help of a Walmart employee and members of the Gaver family.

Each time one of the officers attempted to separate family members, one of the Gaver brothers would intervene, while calling the officers “Nazis,” according to Fanning. Daniels attempted to get the mother and daughter aside while another brother hit Hicks in the throat.

“Had it not been for the Walmart employee (Eric Fields) helping the original four officers, they would have been overwhelmed,” Fanning said. “The weapons and tactics that we deployed, they didn’t work. When we shoot them with Tasers, they have been taught to roll on the ground and break the wires so the electricity stops.

“When they try the ASP police batons, it doesn’t bother them. They take multiple hits from the ASPs. They get pepper spayed, they don’t care. When they get punched, they don’t care. They just continue to go and go.”

Fanning also said, “Their mode to fight is to grab the officers’ eyes, ears and mouth and pull as hard as they can. That is where most of the officers’ injuries came from, ripping at their faces. They don’t do very much punching because that doesn’t work because of our vests, but ripping at our faces does.

At no time, does the mother or father tell the children to stop and comply,” Fanning noted.

Eventually, the officers were able to take command of the situation and get all members of the Gaver family restrained, except for Enoch, who was killed.

David, Jeremiah, Nathaniel, Peter and Ruth Gaver have been jailed in Camp Verde on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges. Two children, a 15-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl are held in Juvenile Detention on charges in Prescott Valley.

Since the fight, the Cottonwood Walmart store has posted a “No Camping” sign at the entrances.

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