Modesto ca shooting

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Modesto Police officer in 'good spirits' after surgery following shooting

MODESTO, Calif. — The Modesto Police officer who was shot twice after a high-speed chase is in good sports after his surgery, according to the police department's Facebook post. 

Police said Michael Rokaitis is now awake and is celebrating his wife's birthday. Rokaitis is still recovering from his surgery, where his leg was amputated.

“He doesn’t regret anything that happened one bit. He couldn’t be prouder of his team," the Facebook post reads.  "He’s so grateful to the department, his medical team, and the community for the amount of love and support they’ve given.“

Rokaitis was shot following a high-speed chase where a reckless driving suspect led officers to a home on the 3100 block of East Orangeburg Avenue. 

The suspect surrendered, but another suspect inside started shooting after police received a search warrant.

Police identified the shooting suspect as 42-year-old Jesse James Brooks. Brooks was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on three complaints of attempted murder of a police officer and other weapons charges.

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Modesto police release body camera footage of shooting that injured officer

MODESTO, Calif. — The Modesto Police Department have released body camera footage of a shootout that resulted in one officer losing a portion of his leg.

Modesto Police Chief Brandon Gillespie breaks down the body worn camera footage, along with the events that transpired on Sunday, Aug. 15. The shooting was preceded by a chase, which led officers to a home along the 3100 block of E. Orangeburg Avenue in Modesto. 

When officers arrived, the suspect exited the home and surrendered.

Officers searched the suspect and found he was in possession of drugs. Based on that evidence, officers were able to obtain a search warrant and search the home. Three people exited the house during this time and when officers entered the home, another suspect hiding inside began shooting, hitting Officer Michael Rokaitis. Officers returned fire and injured the suspect, who was later identified as 42-year-old Jesse James Brooks.

Gillespie said Officer Michael Rokaitis has had seven surgeries since the shooting and spent 12 days in the ICU recovering. As a result of the shooting, part of his right leg had to be amputated. 

"Michael is stable now and beginning to heal," Gillespie said in the video. 

Six people were arrested in relation to this incident.

  • Jesse James Brooks, 42, of Modesto, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, along with multiple weapon violations.
  • Joshua Harrington, 34, of Modesto, has been charged with evading, possession of a controlled substance and possessing a firearm. 
  • Ryan Bailey, 40, of Modesto, has been charged with possession a gun
  • Katie Bible, 27, of Modesto, has been charged with accessory and violation of felony probation.
  • Rolland Christian, 44, of Atwater, has been charged with obstruction.
  • Harley Pryschuk, 29, of Modesto, has been charged with attempted murder, accessory and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

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Body Camera Video Shows Fatal Shooting of Unarmed California Man by Police

The Modesto police officer who fired the deadly shots was responding to a 911 call from Trevor Seever’s sister, who said her brother had recently sent a threatening message to their mother.

A California man who was shot and killed by a police officer last week was unarmed, officials said on Tuesday in a video that includes body camera footage of the fatal encounter.

The man, Trevor Seever, 29, was shot on Dec. 29 outside Modesto Church of the Brethren in Modesto, Calif.

Brandon Gillespie, the interim chief of the Modesto Police Department, said in the video that the police were responding to a 911 call by Mr. Seever’s sister in which she said that her brother had bought a gun the night before and had just sent a threatening text to their mother.

According to Chief Gillespie, the department recognized Mr. Seever’s name from a safety bulletin released in early December after he posted on social media, “All I want for Christmas is another dead MPD cop.”

Body camera footage released by the Police Department shows the officer, Joseph Lamantia, exiting a police car and running toward Mr. Seever, who is white, yelling at him to “get on the ground” before firing four times in quick succession.

The video shows Officer Lamantia running closer to Mr. Seever and ordering him to put his hands up, which Mr. Seever appears to do. Officer Lamantia then orders him twice more to put his hands up, then fires three more shots, after which Mr. Seever cries out and falls to the ground.

Chief Gillespie said that the officers believed Mr. Seever was armed, so Mr. Lamantia waited for backup to arrive with a ballistics shield before administering first aid.

At one point, Mr. Seever can be heard saying, “I don’t have a weapon.”

Mr. Seever was taken to a hospital, where he died, Chief Gillespie said. Officers searched the area but did not find a weapon.

Officer Lamantia has been placed on paid leave, according to Sharon Bear, a spokeswoman for the Modesto Police Department. The department is conducting an investigation into the shooting, as is the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

In an email, John Goold, a deputy district attorney, said the office would not be releasing any information about the case until the investigation was completed, which could take several months.

The Dec. 29 encounter was not the first time Officer Lamantia was involved in a fatal shooting.

According to Ms. Bear, in 2010, Officer Lamantia and one other officer shot and killed Francisco Moran, 45, after the police received reports that Mr. Moran was intoxicated and armed with a knife. He was carrying a metal spatula.

In 2016, Officer Lamantia was also involved in the fatal shooting of Omar Villagomez, a suspect in a drug bust in Turlock, Calif. The police said that Mr. Villagomez rammed an undercover vehicle while trying to escape. The episode was investigated by the Turlock Police Department and found to be justified.

Also in 2016, Officer Lamantia was involved in the fatal shooting of Kim Jackson, a woman who officers said charged at them with knives.

The District Attorney’s Office found the shootings of Mr. Moran and Ms. Jackson to be justified, Ms. Bear said.

The release of the body camera footage on Tuesday was reported by The Modesto Bee.

Officer Lamantia was involved in another encounter in 2016, in which several officers subdued and arrested a man using control holds, beanbag guns and a Taser. The man died a few days later.

And last October, Officer Lamantia was also involved in the shooting in Stockton of a man, David Cummings Jr., who was wanted in a double homicide near downtown Modesto.

The Stockton Police Department and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department are investigating that shooting. Neither could immediately be reached for comment.

“An officer-involved shooting is a tragic event for everyone,” Chief Gillespie said, “for our officers, for the community and for the family members of those involved.”


Modesto Officer In Critical Condition After Being Shot; Suspect Arrested

MODESTO (CBS13) — A Modesto Police Officer is in critical condition after being shot late Saturday night while helping serve a search warrant.

The suspect, who received minor injuries when officers returned fire, was treated at a local hospital and released back into police custody. He was arrested for various weapons violations and three counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

READ MORE: Deputy Catches Suspect Draining Gas From Placer County Vehicle

He was identified as 42-year-old Jesse James Brooks of Modesto.

It started when a traffic officer observed a motorcyclist driving recklessly near West Orangeburg Avenue and Enslen Avenue around 10 p.m., according to Modesto Police.

When the officer attempted to stop the motorcyclist, he fled.

READ MORE: Grit Powers San Francisco Giants To NLDS Game 3 Win; Mother Nature Was Wearing Orange And Black

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s helicopter responded and located the motorcyclist as he continued to flee, following the rider to a residence in the 3100 block of East Orangeburg Avenue. Officers arrived, and soon after say the suspect exited the house and surrendered.

The suspect was searched and found to be in possession of drugs for the purpose of sales, according to police.

Based on the evidence found, officers obtained a search warrant for the residence but when they began to search the house just after 11:30 p.m., a male adult, later determined to be Brooks, began shooting at them, striking one of the officers, according to police.

The injured officer, identified as Michael Rokaitis, was transported to a local hospital where he is listed in critical, but stable condition at this time.

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This is an ongoing investigation, and more information will be released when it becomes available.


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Body-cam video of Modesto Police Department fatal officer-involved shooting

Modesto Police release video of Aug. 14 shooting of officer, suspect

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Modesto Police Department released video on Friday of a shooting between officers and a male suspect.

Jesse James Brooks, 42, was shot by police after police video shows him shooting at officers during a search of a home off Orangeburg Avenue on Aug. 14.

Modesto police officer Michael Rokaitis was also shot in the exchange. His leg was later amputated as a result of his injuries.

Brooks was charged with three counts of attempted murder on a peace officer, multiple weapon violations, as well as an outstanding U.S. Marshall Warrant for a probation violation. He was treated at a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail.

Officers say they initially pursued Joshua Harrington, 34, to the house after he drove away from police on a motorcycle. Police helicopter video shows Harrington evade police, then park outside the house.

Police detained Harrington and Ryan Bailey, 40, at the front door. Three other occupants exited the house following a PA announcement and were also arrested on multiple charges, police said.

After obtaining a search warrant, police searched the home, finding Brooks inside a bedroom.

Body camera video shows gunfire erupt as soon as police enter the bedroom. Rokaitis falls shortly after the shooting begins, with police dragging the wounded officer out of the line of fire.

Watch the full video release here. WARNING: Video is graphic.

Members of the community can donate to the Rokaitis family hereto aid in the officer’s recovery.

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