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Utah animal control officer quits after drive-by report questioned

Published June 6, 2014 7:29 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Smithfield animal control officer has quit after investigators apparently questioned his report of being targeted in a drive-by shooting.

The former officer, Frank Keepers, told the Tribune on Friday that he decided to step down because he did not feel his colleagues in the city police department had his back.

"I've been really honest in answering the questions from the city, but felt a lack of support from them," Keepers said.

Smithfield Police Chief Johnny McCoy did not immediately respond to a request for details on the development.

However, the chief told The Herald Journal that Keepers had abruptly resigned Tuesday night after being confronted with inconsistencies in his account of a purported May 25 incident where he claimed to have been shot at while talking on the phone at home.

An investigation revealed the four teens reportedly involved told police that they may have slapped the side of the truck, startling Keepers, but no shots were fired.

On Friday, Keepers said that in retrospect, he was unsure if a gunshot had been fired — but he insisted the noise certainly sounded like one.

"It scared the daylights of me and my wife," he said.

McCoy said other inconsistencies in Keepers' account, including details about a traffic stop he had made in his second job as a Division of Natural Resources employee, developed in the week after the alleged incident.

Keepers confirmed that he also resigned his DNR job.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims