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Bodycam released of police shooting of man who said he wanted to kill cops

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The man fatally shot by a Modesto police officer last week was not armed, the department said in a video released Tuesday night.

The man was identified as Trevor Seever, 29, who was shot outside the Church of the Brethren on Woodland Avenue just before noon Dec. 29.

A news release said Officer Joseph Lamantia had gone to the church after Seever’s sister reported he had bought a gun the night before and made vague threats about harming his family.

Lamantia’s body-worn video camera shows him driving up to the scene, with Seever in the distance. The officer starts running toward Seever, then stops and orders him to “get on the ground.”

Lamantia then fires four shots in quick succession, with no apparent response from Seever. Lamantia repeats his order, then fires three more shots. Seever can then be heard yelling in pain.

He died later that day at a local hospital. No gun was found at the scene, Interim Chief Brandon Gillespie said on the video.

Lamantia is on paid leave under the protocol for officer-involved shootings. Separate investigations are being done by the Modesto police criminal and internal affairs units, and by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

This was the fourth time since 2010 that Lamantia has been part of a fatal officer-involved shooting. He’s been on the force for 12 years.

In a 2010 incident, a 45-year-old man was shot and killed after officers, including Lamantia, were called to the scene after it was reported Francisco Moran, was intoxicated, belligerent and armed with a knife. He was armed with a metal spatula.

In 2016, Lamantia was one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect during a drug bust in Turlock. The suspect, Omar Villagomez, rammed an undercover vehicle in trying to escape, police said.

In another 2016 fatal shooting, a woman, Kim Jackson, who police say charged police with knives, was shot and killed by officers, including Lamantia.

The DA’s office found the shooting in 2010 and both in 2016 were justified.

Also in 2016, Lamantia was among several officers involved in an encounter with a man who had been terrorizing homes on Modesto’s Grantland Court. Garrett Schmidt, 33, died a few days after being subdued and arrested by officers using control holds, beanbag guns and a Taser.

Lamantia also had a part in an officer-involved shooting in October when officers opened fire on an armed homicide suspect in Stockton. The suspect, David Cummings Jr., 27, was wanted in a double homicide near downtown Modesto a few days earlier.

The Stockton Police Department and San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department are investigating October’s shooting.

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