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Father says police targeted wrong man when his son was killed in officer-involved shooting in Sandy

Posted at 9:22 PM, Mar 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-19 08:16:04-04

SANDY, Utah - The father of a man killed in an officer-involved shooting in Sandy says his son was wrongfully targeted.

Police say Bryan Liles was shot Tuesday as agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were attempting to serve an arrest warrant.

Liles’ father, Cecil McCants, claims police told him Bryan Liles wasn’t the person agents were trying to arrest.

From his home in Bellevue, Washington, he shared with FOX 13 details of the conversations he says he had with police.

“You’re telling me my son was shot for something that wasn’t even him,” McCants said when asked to recall his conversations with investigators. “And he said, yea, the confidential informant gave the wrong cell phone number.”

McCants says police told him they were searching for another man named Bryan. He also claims police changed their story after originally telling him Liles was armed.

“When he talked to me Friday, he said flat-out all Bryan did was move skittish in the car,” McCants said. “The reason he was shot is because he moved that car five feet forward, toward an officer with an officer half-hanging out the car.”

He believes the force agents used against his son, was excessive.

“That’s why I said they are trigger happy,” McCants said. “I’m not stopping until I get justice. I’m not stopping until I have his badge and he gets brought up on charges, because he killed my son.”

FOX 13 reached out to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill to respond to McCants’ allegations.

"I would caution people that this, right now, is just speculation based on sort of hearsay facts or statements that are out there," Gill said. "I can't really rely on them until the investigation is done."

Gill won't reach any conclusions until he has the chance to review the complete report by a task force of investigators from agencies not involved in the incident.

"Once we have all of the facts, then we can start to look through what led to this contact," Gill said.

While he couldn't share many details about the investigation, Gill is aware of the possibility of another person being involved.

"I've heard two different individuals," Gill said. "But how that happened, what were the facts that led up to it? I think thats why I would caution our community to not speculate."

Gill hopes to have the completed report on his desk in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, McCants plans to hire legal counsel to seek justice for his son who he believes didn't deserve to die.