VINELAND, N.J. (WPVI) --Family members of a man killed by Vineland police are demanding justice for what they say is a case of mistaken identity.
It happened early Sunday morning in the area of 7th and Cherry streets. Officers say they exchanged gunfire with two robbery suspects, with one identified as Richard Bard.
Bard was shot and killed. Family members say he was the wrong man.
It all began with an assault late Saturday into Sunday. Tony Martir, along with an employee and a friend, were closing up after working late.
The friend left first on a bike while the others left in Tony's truck. They heard screams as two assailants began beating the friend.
Juanita Martir relayed to Action News what Tony told her.
"They got him over there, put him down on the floor and start beating him because they want his wallet and he doesn't want to give it to them," she said
"They start beating him with a gun in the head. He got all messed up in the face, he's got holes in the head, his eyes are swollen.
Tony and the employee went to help as Tony calls 911 as shots are fired at the truck.
"They see him, he was using the phone and they stand up from the floor and they left running. They shoot the truck and they left," said Juanita.
Police arrived on the scene near 7th and Cherry while, more than three blocks away at Almond and East Avenue, there was gunfire involving police and two men. Police say those two men were the assailants.
The gunfire left Bard dead. Authorities claim a firearm was found in the "immediate vicinity" of Bard.
Bard's family and friends reject the idea Bard was armed or had anything to do with the attack. They had harsh words for police.
"You shot my brother in the head," Wanda German. When asked about the police account that Bard shot first, she said "My brother ain't shoot at them. Of course they're going to say that, they cover everything up. My brother wasn't like that."
"He is not that dumb," said his aunt, Felicia Cox. "Why would you shoot at police? Out of anybody you're going to shoot at police? Police will shoot back and they're going to kill you."
An investigation by the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office continues.