Fort Worth

Man killed by SWAT officer was holding a flashlight, not a gun, when shot, police say

A man who was killed by a Fort Worth SWAT officer Saturday was pointing a flashlight at police and not a rifle at the time he was shot, according to a statement released by police Monday.

Police responded to a domestic disturbance call about 6:40 p.m. Saturday at a residence in the 5700 block of 6th Avenue, the statement said.

According to the responding officers and his family, the suspect, Cody Wayne Seals, chambered a round and pointed a long rifle at officers, police said. Seals then barricaded himself inside the house.

“The responding officers immediately focused on containing the situation,” the statement said. “SWAT officers responded to this location in an effort to enhance the safety and security of the scene.”

Police soon learned that Seals, 38, had extensive military training, was possibly suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and had access to multiple weapons, police said.

While officers were trying to speak with Seals, he came out of the front door and assumed what was described as a shooting stance, with both arms out in front of him while holding an object that looked like a weapon-mounted lighting system, police stated.

Seals “turned toward an officer, still locked out in a shooting stance, pointing the object at an officer,” the statement said. “Believing the officer or other officers were about to be fired upon, a SWAT officer responded with deadly force.”

Police later determined the object Seals was holding when he was shot was a flashlight.

Detectives with the Major Case Unit are leading the investigation of the officer-involved shooting and will be analyzing all available evidence along with the Internal Affairs Unit, according to authorities.

Once the investigation has been completed, the case will be submitted to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office for review, police said.

No other citizens or officers were injured during this incident.

According to Tarrant County medical examiner’s records, Seals’ time of death was listed as 10:14 p.m. He died from a gunshot wound to the neck.

The SWAT officer who shot Seals has been with the Fort Worth Police Department for 10 years and was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure on every critical police incident.

“The Fort Worth Police Department takes the use of force seriously, especially the use of deadly force,” the statement said. “Any and all cases of force are thoroughly investigated in order to provide thorough and conclusive findings realizing and expecting transparency is needed by all.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and all involved during this incident,” the statement said.

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