Small Town News


Suspect shot dead in brawl with police

Cottonwood Journal Extra of Cottonwood, Arizona

- Advertisement -

Suspect killed, one wounded and one officer shot in leg

A police officer was shot in the leg, two suspects were shot and one of them was killed in a brawl among at least eight suspects from one family, eight police officers and a store employee in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Cottonwood on Saturday, March 21.

At approximately 11:52 p.m., Cottonwood Police Department received a call from the Cottonwood Wal-Mart reporting that a female Wal-Mart employee had allegedly been assaulted in the store by multiple suspects. The employee was going into the store bathroom when she was physically shoved out of the way by one of the suspects, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

When officers arrived, the suspects were in the parking lot and immediately attacked the responding officers, according to DPS.

During the altercation, one of the suspects, identified by Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Dwight D'Evelyn as Enoch Gaver, was shot and killed.

Cottonwood Police Sgt. Jeremy Daniels was shot in the leg. It is unclear who fired the round. Daniels was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center where he underwent surgery for his injuries, according to DPS. The 31-year-old sergeant has been with CPD for about 10 years and should make a full recovery, according to DPS.

"During the course of the fight in the parking lot we believe there was a struggle for an officer's gun," according to the DPS report.

A second suspect, identified by YCSO as 28-year-old David Gaver, was shot in the abdomen. He was also taken to FMC.

Seven officers sustained minor injuries including cuts, lacerations and bruising and in one case a twisted ankle, according to DPS.

Seven suspects were eventually taken into custody and were booked in the Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde. YCSO has identified them as 55-year-old Peter Gaver, 52-year-old Ruth Gaver, 29-year-old Jeremiah C. Gaver and 27-year-old Nathaniel Gaver. David Gaver will be taken into custody when he is discharged from FMC. Two juveniles from the Gaver family, ages 11 and 15, are in custody at the Yavapai County Juvenile Detention Center in Prescott.

Initially the suspects refused to cooperate and it took DPS detectives time to identify them.

Jeremiah, David and Nathaniel Gaver are all being held on a $75,000 bond each and charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and hindering prosecution.

Ruth Gaver is being held on $50,000 bond on charges including assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and hindering prosecution.

Peter Gaver is being held on $25,000 bond on charges including hindering prosecution and resisting arrest.

Charges for the juveniles have not yet been made public.

Peter, Ruth, Jeremiah and Nathaniel are due in court on Tuesday, March 31, according to YCSO.

A Chevy Suburban at the scene has Idaho plates registered in Ada County. Peter and Ruth Gaver have a residence on Elmer Lane in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, which they helped build through

Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity, according to a Business Wire news.story published May 27, 2004.

According to property records, the home was listed as going into foreclosure in 2011, but it was unclear if the home was foreclosed on. Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity had not returned phone calls by press time.

It is unclear why the Gaver family was in Cottonwood although Peter Gaver's aunt lives in Lake Havasu City and his father, James Elbert Green, was a resident until his death in 2005, according to Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home.

For the last three years, members of the Gaver family have performed music on the street formerly calling their band Matthew 24 Now, but recently changed the group's name to Busking In the Son. Peter Gaver plays acoustic guitar, sings and whistles, Jeremiah Gaver plays bass guitar, Nathaniel Gaver plays percussion and "Jonathan" plays acoustic guitar,-harmonica and djembe.

According to the Matthew 24 Now Facebook page, the band's initial name is in reference to the "Matthew 24 Challenge," which encourages believers to read the biblical passages of Matthew 24, which describe apocalyptic world events, and compare the passages to current news which allegedly portends the End Times. The band and Peter Gaver's Facebook pages, listed as "Peter Green," cite numerous biblical passages and use Hebrew phrases interspersed with details about the family's movements from Idaho to California to Arizona.

On Dec. 3, Gaver posted, "We are on the streets playing music, and sharing His Word with any one who will listen almost daily. We get a meager amount in tips and we have never asked for so much as a dime; and though we live in an RV and are technically homeless: In the almost five years that we have been doing this we have not gone one single day without the bare essentials!"

The family posted comments about busking in the cold, managing to stay warm and occasionally visiting hotels.

On Feb. 10, Gaver posted on his Facebook page, "Well today's the day that we leave Boise after 21 years and about four months since we arrived."

"We were stopped from staying at the campground," he posted March 4 followed by the brief description of an argument with rangers who had asked the family to leave the site, but does not identify the location.

Around March 6, Gaver wrote "We need a trailer: Or just designate us sardines." Several photos posted March 6 were taken from inside the Suburban around dawn at the McGuireville Rest Area on the southbound side of Interstate 17.

On March 10, Ruth Gaver posted on her husband's page, "Peter needs our prayers for increasing illness/injuries ... Shalom Ruth." Posts since mid-2014 had mentioned Peter Gaver's heart condition.

"Looks like we're being spit out of another city," Peter Gaver posted on March 11. Responding to comment the next morning, Peter wrote, "Actually I'm by the Verde Valley just now."

On March 15, he posted "YHWH Please reveal your two witnesses! Waiting upon You! Revelation 11:1-6, 8-14" and those verses, as written in the New American Standard version of the Bible.

On the day of the shooting, March 21, he posted at 9:13 p.m., about two hours before the incident, "Dead battery: please pray, Todah," using the Hebrew word for a thanksgiving prayer. He later wrote "Actually it was the starter but we hit it with a hammer and it works for the moment. Praise YAH!". The last comment he posted was in reply to a comment about car repair advice. "Hope your car's running," he posted at 10:18 p.m., just over 90 minutes before the confrontation with police.

Copyright 2015 Cottonwood Journal Extra, Cottonwood, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: March 25, 2015

More from Cottonwood Journal Extra