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Vigil held for man fatally shot by police in Saratoga Springs

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- A candlelight vigil was held in Saratoga Springs Sunday night to remember the man who was shot and killed by police on Wednesday.

"I just miss him so much already, I can't believe that he is really gone, and that he was killed so unjustly in my eyes, I can't believe it, he would never hurt anyone," said Maria Jones, Darrien Hunt's grandmother.

Jones stood outside the Panda Express, on Redwood Road, alongside family and friends of Darrien Hunt. Most of them had a candle in their hand and a memory in their heart of Darrien.

"I don't understand why bad things happen to good people; I never will," said Bianca Kurznann, a friend of Hunt.

Kurznann read a poem she wrote after Darrien's passing.

"It hurts just to see someone with so much potential and such a big heart lose their life like this," she said.

Darrien Hunt, 22, was shot and killed on Wednesday morning outside of the Panda Express.

According to Saratoga Springs Police, he was walking around the parking lot acting suspiciously, carrying a samurai sword.

The Utah County Attorney's Office released a statement on Saturday, which stated in part: “Preliminary evidence suggests that Mr. Hunt brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword, at which time Mr. Hunt was shot.”

Click here for the full statement.

"There were some statements made yesterday that were obviously ridiculous," said Cindy Moss, Darrien's aunt.

According to a witness, Darrien was running from police when he was shot. The Hunt family paid for their own independent autopsy.

"We found out there were six gunshot wounds in him, all in the back, all from the back side," Moss said.

"The shot that did kill him hit him right in the back, so there is some question of what he was doing, where he was going, obviously he was running away at the time he was shot and killed," said Hunt family attorney Randall Edwards.

The news of the autopsy results angered many community members at the vigil, many of whom didn't even know Darrien or his family.

"He was a member of our community and his life was taken needlessly and I'm here to support the family," said Herb Flower, who was passing out candles. "I can't walk away from a situation like his and just say, ‘oh well.’"

13 comments

  • Sad times

    RUBBER BULLETS !
    I think anyone that carries a firearm for protection should at least consider the first three rounds being rubber bullets .
    Mistakes are made in high stressful situations .
    No one is perfect so it makes no sense that police are protected instead of punished for their mistakes.
    Even worse when mistakes are attempted to be covered up .
    Police are kind of like copping out by shooting all the time . RUBBER BULLETS for COP OUT COPS at the least .
    The police arguments to rubber bullets and bean bags would be its like bringing a knife to a gunfight .
    In this case and in most it’s the exact opposite perspective of the metaphor knife to a gun fight .
    This officer had pre-warning before he made his approach .
    that should’ve gave him time to consider which weapon to use .
    Rubber bullets would drop you even if you had a bulletproof vest on and can kill you if under certain circumstances .
    Police could carry one clip with rubber bullets and one with real ones .
    But unstable behavior will always be a problem with authority .

    A friend of mine talked with an eyewitness that saw this happen from her car .
    She said she saw the boy come around the corner carrying a sword and thought no big deal mellow . She looked down to sign a check and heard gunshots .
    looked back to a dead kid with sword .
    Her window was down and she had a sleeping baby in her car.
    She didn’t hear anybody say stop get down or anything like that . Just gun shots .
    Even if this eyewitness isn’t true all the unanswered questions to this situations could’ve been answered if rubber bullets or a taser was used.
    Next up :
    Copout cops on the rise

    • Bob

      Yeah, Sad Times, your friend’s friend got the whole story second hand from her neighbor’s 1st cousin who was 5 blocks away at the time. It must be the gosple truth.

      • bobsanidiot

        Why don’t you shut your illiterate, uneducated pie hole bob? Once again we all question why your nose has not vacated your face from the overwhelming stench of your constant and disgusting ugly open gash……

  • John Westgate

    Sounds like Darrien Hunt was high, only explanation would anyone be walking around the panda express parking lot with a sword…….. then brandish it at the police. Sounds like Darrien caused his own death.

    • Shanie Vincent

      Is that illegal? If he was just walking by himself not hurting anyone, why did they bother him? He wasn’t breaking any law. They questioned him, let him go, and then shot him in the back as he left because they didn’t want him to tell anyone about the incident and they needed to make it look like a confrontation. I’ve seen them do it first hand, not shoot the person but talk to them, let them go and then chase them down and handcuff them as if they ran away. Dead men tell no tales, and Darian had a big tale to tell. Wait until your bubble is popped. The only people the cops protect and serve anymore is themselves. It’s time for an overhaul.

      • Bob

        I suppose a few nutcases will buy into your dribble but certainly no one of average intelligence is stupid enough to think any police officer wants to subject himself to the prison term associated with unjustified use of deadly force.

        And no, Shanie, the suspect wasn’t on his way to Bible school.

  • Frank

    Utah Police shoot first and ask question later. There was no conceivable reason put six bullets into this young man. No one was in eminent danger. The police are not concerned about being held accountable for wrongful death because so many here like BOB support them in lock step, regardless of the facts, and then call anyone who disagrees stupid. I think BOB needs a Bible school refresher course if he believes this young man deserved to die.

    • bobsanidiot

      bobs an atheist so don’t bother. I say that’s a good thing because if you die by the way you lived the world will not have to hear from or smell his vile stench when baldbanks unloads a clip in his azze……….

    • C'MON FRANK

      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?

      Remeber, 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.

  • Terree Hoggard

    Gone to Soon

    A young man who walked among us,
    one like many we have known.
    Now lies still and silent
    but still we hear his moan.

    He was a gentle soul we’re told
    and very young at heart.
    He died without knowing why
    he was their bullets mark.

    We’re sad and fear he was misjudged
    by those sworn to protect.
    He was shot so many times
    great pain is it’s effect.

    Our hearts go out to those he loved
    this son gone way to soon.
    Our prayers and tears reach out to you
    who grieve him now entombed.

    Terree Hulllinger Hoggard

    The shooting that took place in the Saratoga Springs area on September 10, 2014 has left me hurt and confused. If what has been reported in the news and what has been leaked out is true, then someone needs to be held accountable. It is my understanding that police are not to fire upon someone who is running away. Also, it has been reported that multiple bullets were fired into Darrien Nathaniel Hunt, 22 as he fled in fear after having an altercation of some sort with two Saratoga Springs officers. His crime, carrying a toy Samurai sword on his back.

    I have great respect and appreciate those who choose to uphold the law to protect the people. I believe most of those in law enforcement do their best at what they are sworn to do. However, there are some who choose to use their job as a right to usurp authority over others without sufficient justifiable cause. If this shooting is a result of what it appears to be by these officers, then they must be held accountable. We plead for an unbiased and through investigation.

  • 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?

    Remeber, 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.

Comments are closed.