COTTONWOOD, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) – Video from the dashboard camera of a Cottonwood Police Department cruiser showed a close-knit Idaho family that appeared nearly invulnerable to stun guns, police batons and fists during a melee in a Walmart parking lot March 21 in which one person was killed and one officer wounded by a gunshot.
Cottonwood Police Chief Jody Fanning showed the video during a news conference Friday morning and said no matter what tactics officers used, nothing appeared to deter the family of eight. The dash-cam was the only one of three that was operational that night, Fanning said.
Four officers arrived at the Walmart after employees called about one of the Boise, ID, family members pushing an employee to the ground outside one of the store’s bathrooms.
The family had gathered outside their older model Chevrolet Suburban when officers arrived. The confrontation started when one of the officers said they would split up the family to talk with them about what happened inside the store, Fanning said.
But the father, 55-year-old Peter Gaver, and one of his sons stepped in and told police they wouldn’t allow them to separate the family, Fanning said. Another officer approached the mother, 52-year-old Ruth Gaver, and her 11-year-old daughter when one of the brothers ran in between them.
Police Sgt. Jeremy Daniels grabbed the man and the melee was on, Fanning said.