Modesto officer fired, facing manslaughter charge after deadly shooting

State News

(KTXL) — A now-former Modesto officer was fired Thursday after an investigation was completed into the deadly shooting of an unarmed man in December of last year. 

In released body camera footage of the deadly shooting, Officer Joseph Lamantia is seen driving up to Church of the Brethren on Woodland Avenue on his own Dec. 29 around 11:30 a.m.

He rushes out of his patrol car and is heard shouting, “Get on the ground! Get on the ground!” He then shoots at 29-year-old Trevor Seever four times.

Several yards away, Seever is kneeling on the ground with his hands raised when the officer tells him to put his hands up and immediately shoots at Seever three more times.

Seever later died from his wounds at a local hospital, according to police.

The investigation by the Use of Force Review Board found the deadly force Lamantia used was in “violation of the Modesto Police Department’s policies, procedures, and training.”

It then recommended that Lamantia’s employment be terminated with the city of Modesto. 

Interim Police Chief Brandon Gillespie followed up on the recommendation and Lamantia was fired Thursday morning. 

The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, which has been conducting its own independent investigation, filed a voluntary manslaughter charge against Lamantia Thursday afternoon.

He pleaded not guilty in a court appearance and was remanded into custody, according to the DA.

Lamantia — a 12-year veteran of the department — has been involved in five shootings, according to Gillespie. In a previous interview, the interim chief had confirmed four people had died. 

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