PATERSON, N.J. (WABC) – Relatives and friends gathered for the funeral of Nadja Seabrooks, an advocate of violence who was shot dead by the police in Patterson.

The solemn ceremony took place on Saturday at the Center of Christian Landhood. Many came to worship the famous man who lived on the defense of his hometown.

“He was a very deep person in the community. We needed him, they needed him here,” said Valerie Dell of the People’s Organization for Progress.

Seabrooks was killed by officers on March 3 after he barricaded himself in an apartment bathroom while having a mental health crisis.

“Naji, stop it. I’m your mother. Open the door,” Seabrook’s mother begged from outside the bathroom.

Officials say Seabrooks eventually came out of the bathroom and lunged at officers with a knife in hand. The terrible scene was caught on video camera.

The release of that body camera video came after vigils and calls for transparency, with some accusing Patterson police of excessive use of force.

“Look at the outpouring of love. He touched so many lives. For something like this to happen, it’s terrible,” Patterson resident and family friend Ronald Laughton said at the funeral.

Those who attended the funeral say they don’t understand how the community and the police will move forward, but continue to say such a death must not happen again.

“We come out here and preach about guns, about people killing each other, and then they get shot by a police officer. It makes no sense,” said Walter Staton of the group Cease Fire Against Gun Violence.

Despite these sentiments, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh officers who responded to the scene and engaged in a five-hour standoff with Seabrooks are said to have done everything they could to avoid this tragic outcome.

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