Friend of man who was fatally shot by police while carrying sword questions cops’ actions

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- The friends and family of a man shot and killed by police in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday morning said the officers involved owe them some answers.

Darrien Hunt, 22, was killed outside a Panda Express Restaurant.

According to police, they were there responding to a call about a man walking around with a samurai sword, but what happened next is unclear.

DeShawn Ragsdale, a close friend of the Hunt family, spoke about the incident.

“There’s no reason why he would even put himself in that position," he said. "He wouldn’t run at the police. He wouldn’t run at nobody. He wouldn’t rob nobody."

According to authorities, two officers first encountered Hunt in the parking lot of a Top Stop convenience store.

“I don't have any details on the encounter, just that they made contact with the individual and then shots were fired,” said Owen Jackson, a spokesman for the city of Saratoga Springs.

Witnesses said it wasn’t clear what prompted the gunfire. At least one bullet went astray, hitting a car in the parking lot.

“I couldn’t say he was doing anything crazy, and I don’t think the officers really were doing anything more than they just wanted to talk to him,” said an employee of Top Stop, who asked not to be identified.

According to Hunt’s friends, the sword he was carrying was a souvenir from a concert. They weren’t sure it was even real, as it usually hung on a wall at Hunt’s home.

“Why couldn’t they pull out the Taser? The Taser is on the hip,” Ragsdale said. “Why not Taser and apprehend this person? Why shoot?”

Both officers involved in the shooting have been put on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation by the Utah County Attorney’s Office.

76 comments

  • David Plaie

    1. Why on earth would someone KNOWINGLY carrying a fake sword use it to attack police carrying REAL guns?
    2. Utah is an open-carry state. This guy could have been carrying an unlicensed AK-47 around without breaking any laws.
    3. Why does this continue happening to black men, when white men who go around on shooting sprees, occasionally wearing body armor, are apprehended and survive to stand trial?
    4, Police need to just start wearing cameras. If it WERE true that all these unarmed black men who get killed WERE behaving menacingly, then the footage would support this.

    • Bob

      Yes, Benjamin Schroff was a white bank robber, yes, he was wearing body armor, and no, he didn’t survive his shoot out with police to stand trial. Behave when around police and you have a resonably good chance of surviving your encounter with them regardless of your skin color.

      • Paul Dirks

        Last time I checked, the constitution states that we cannot be deprived of Life, Liberty or property without due procees of law, “Misbehaving” is NOT a Capital Crime.

  • C'MON PEOPLE

    haha and carrying around a samurai sword early hours in the morning scary the public & then fleeing from police when approached is a inconceivable reason not to get shot?

    Remember, the public called the police on this man fearful that he may hurt someone. Toy or not, it’s a sword either way.

    What the heck is a grown man walking around with a “toy” in the early hours of the morning. Was he going to commit a robbery… murder?

    I see a few different laws broken by this grown man. Disturbing the Peace, Brandishing a Weapon, Interfering with a Police Investigation, fleeing/evading.

    For all we know he would’ve ran off and started sticking people with that “toy” samurai sword. Toy or not, you can still STICK someone with those things. Clean through.

    • The Truth

      And you can kill someone with your car keys by jamming it through their eye. Let’s arrest every pedestrian with keys in their pocket.

      You’re a tool.

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