SPRINGVILLE — Cody Evans, 24, was killed in a police-involved shooting Sunday in southwest Provo.
After the shooting, his mother and others spoke to the Daily Herald about the young man’s life up until the altercation.
Police said Evans was carrying an assault rifle-style gun that was later discovered to be an Airsoft gun.
The initial 911 call that brought the police to search for Evans was a complaint of domestic abuse, according to a police statement. Evans’ mother, Laura Crocker Lindsay, identified the caller as Evans’ wife, Joana Evans.
Lindsay said she will sue the police for killing her son.
“I’ve got an attorney and I’m gonna sue,” Lindsay said. “We will make sure that Cody gets justice.”
She found out police had shot her son dead from watching television, she said.
“By the time they got here I had tears running down my face, and they said I must already know,” Lindsay said. “It was all over the TV.”
Officers didn’t stop by until 5 p.m. to notify her, she said, and told her they had trouble finding her home.
“That’s a lie,” Lindsay said. “They know where I live, because they knew my kids.”
When Provo police and Utah County Sheriff deputies asked Evans to put his hands in the air, he went to his truck and retrieved his rifle, according to the police report.
The orange tip had been removed and the Airsoft rifle was modeled as an AR-15 in size, weight and color. He pointed the toy rifle at the officers who were 100 feet away.
Officers fired three shots at what they said they perceived as an immediate danger. Evans died at the scene.
“If one more person says he was committing suicide, I’m going postal,” Lindsay said. “Cody wasn’t suicidal. It don’t make no sense to me, you understand me?”
She said police knew Evans had a toy gun, a BB gun, and that he wanted “death by cop” because his wife, Joana Evans, told her mother-in-law that is what she had told a 911 dispatcher.
Her sons also heard the 911 recording.
“They knew it wasn’t real,” Lindsay said. “They didn’t realize we would find out about the 911 call.”
His mother described Evans the night before going out with his wife on Valentines Day for a group date with his brothers and their dates. They got back home about 11 p.m. she said.
His younger brother A.J. and older brother Glenn had stopped by Evans’ home and told their mother they left their brother in good spirits.
“Going out on Sunday wanting to kill himself?” Lindsay said. “No. Cody was at a good place in his life making $2,000 a week, a brand new truck. He had so much to live for, not enough to die for.”
Evans worked for JT Thorpe and Sons Refractory in Salt Lake and belonged to Workers Union Local 295 and had a new truck.
He began having confrontations with the law in 2009 for domestic violence.
“In my family, women don’t call the cops,” Lindsay said. Instead they would take it or pack up and leave, she said.
Evans had six brothers and a sister. According to his mother, when he was a toddler, his father Gerald W. Evans, wanted to see his children on Father’s Day weekend so he kicked in the door to where they were living with their mother and her boyfriend.
Gerald Evans hit Bryan Paul Horton with a lawn-mower blade and Horton later died at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Horton was the boyfriend of Laura Crocker Lindsay at the time, but Evans was Lindsay’s common-law husband.
He was convicted of first-degree murder in 1992 and sentenced to five years to life. He is still serving his sentence at the Utah State Prison. Gerald Evans is eligible for parole in 2016.
“I never saw my boyfriend again,” Lindsay said. “He killed him.”
She said she had gone to jail for her sons because the boys had been fighting and police had received a call for domestic violence at their address. She has lied for them, she said, and would lie again.
“The cops were looking for him that day and I told them he was not there, but he was,” Lindsay said.
Her sons grew up without a lot but had food, clothing and a roof over their heads. And they had love, lots of unconditional love, she said.
Evans, a father of three, had a history of violence and was arrested twice in 2014 for domestic violence, including a charge of aggravated assault, and domestic violence with a child present.
The police report in a February 2014 domestic violence charge states that Evans’ wife Joana told police that Cody “grabbed her around the throat” and “punched her in the face,” with their then 2-year-old son witnessing.
Evans was also charged with interruption of communication device for taking and crushing the phone Joana was using to call 911 to report the violence.
Lynn Porter, a family friend of the Evans and Lindsay, said Evans was “happy with his life right now” and that “he knows what would happen to him if he pointed a gun at a cop.”