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Officer-Involved Shooting Victim's Autopsy At Odds With Pleasanton Police Claims

PLEASANTON (CBS SF) -- A newly released autopsy report revealed details of a San Jose man's death during a confrontation with Pleasanton police last summer that are contrary to claims made by officers involved with the incident.

The officer who shot 19-year-old John Deming Jr. claimed he was an out-of-control madman who nearly beat him to death. Six months after his son died in the July officer-involved shooting, John Deming Sr. still hasn't gotten any answers.

"He didn't deserve to die. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and his birthday is coming up. It won't get any easier," he said

Deming Sr., a reserve police officer for the city of Oakdale, told KPIX 5 the new autopsy report backs up his belief that the Pleasanton police are covering up a murder.

"It paints a picture of cold-blooded murder," said Deming Jr.

Back on July 5th of last year, Pleasanton police responded to a burglar alarm at a classic car dealership. Officers say they spotted John Deming Jr. inside acting like "a madman," running around and jumping on cars.

Recordings of scanner traffic during the incident include an officer saying, "Screaming. Very loud inside the building, smashing things."

Police said he even threw a 50-pound floor jack at officers. Bean bags and Taser rounds either missed him or couldn't stop him.

Pleasanton police said when Deming Jr. attacked Officer Daniel Kunkel and punched him to the point where he almost blacked out, the officer shot him in the head and stomach.

Shortly after, police raided the teen's home looking for drugs as a possible cause for what they termed psychotic behavior.

The Alameda County Coroner's autopsy report now shows Deming Jr. did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system, giving the same result as an independent report commissioned by Deming's family that was released last August.

The autopsy report also finds he was not shot at close range as previously suggested by police.

"Tells us that they're lying; paints it as a murder," said Deming Sr. "There's enough here to arrest this officer on murder charges."

The Pleasanton Police Department would not offer any comment, saying the case is under investigation. The district attorney is also looking into the shooting.

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