LOGAN — Smithfield City animal control officer Frank Keepers has resigned as several inconsistencies have come up during the investigation into his claim of being shot at.
Keepers originally claimed he was shot at while sitting on his front porch, near 50 North 300 East. The shooter was supposedly a passenger in an older model truck that had stopped at a stop-sign in front of the house.
Smithfield City Police Chief Johnny McCoy said as questions arose though about the shooting, Keepers resigned.
“We have learned that there were four juveniles involved,” said McCoy. “According to their vague story, they use the words ‘possibly, might have, it could be,’ that the 14-year-old passenger slapped the side of the truck and then pointed his hand or fist at the direction of officer Keepers.”
McCoy said the community needs to know there is no shooter going around Cache Valley, putting residents at risk and that no one is targeting law enforcement officers.
As a second investigation was opened into Keeper’s claim of being shot at, McCoy said many of the “pertinent” details began to change. Investigators also found “multiple inconsistencies” in the original report Keepers had made.
McCoy said after the shooting was reported, Keepers claimed the passenger had pointed a firearm at him. A day later he changed his statement, saying he never actually saw a weapon.
Three days later, it was also learned that after the incident, Keepers actually followed the suspect’s truck into Birch Creek Canyon. He was driving his Division of Natural Resources truck and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.
McCoy said while Keepers had the truck stopped, he demanded the teenagers turn over the firearm. They reportedly told him at the time there wasn’t one. He also recorded the vehicle’s license plate number but never radioed the stop to DNR or county dispatch.
“Obviously right off the bat the investigators noted the changes in his story,” said McCoy. “As they pressed a little more to find out what is going on and why he was changing it, that is when he resigned.”
McCoy said Keepers had done a fantastic job for the department as an animal control officer. He first worked for Smithfield City in their Public Works Department. He later worked for the Cache County Sheriff’s office as an Animal Control Officer before transferring back to Smithfield.
The investigations are being turned over to the Cache County Attorney’s Office to determine if any charges will be filed against Keepers or the juveniles.
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