Family of Saratoga Springs shooting victim releases statement

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- Nearly a week after Saratoga Springs police shot and killed a black man, the story continues to gain national attention.

Darrien Hunt’s funeral is Thursday morning at an L.D.S. stake center in Saratoga Springs.

A day after the shooting, Hunt’s family was vocal, calling the shooting racially motivated. Now, they've asked for privacy as national media attention increases and with Hunt's funeral just two days away.

Meanwhile, the New York Times is the latest of several national news outlets to latch onto the story with a headline reinforcing the family's claim that an independent autopsy shows Hunt was running away from police when he was fatally shot him in the back.

Police say Hunt lunged at them with a samurai sword. The family doesn't believe that and says the sword was a toy while the Utah County Attorney says it posed a real threat to two Saratoga Springs officers who are now on paid leave.

As county prosecutors try to sort through the facts and determine what really happened outside a Panda Express restaurant Sept. 10, the Hunt family prepares to bury the 22 year-old.

Family attorney, Jeanne Marshall said Tuesday:

"Last week, the Hunt family lost their beloved son and brother, Darrien Hunt. On behalf of the Hunt family, they wish to extend their appreciation to the residents of Saratoga Springs and to the public for the outpouring of kindness and support. They would also ask, at this time, that the public and the media respect their privacy and allow them time to lay Darrien to rest, to grieve, and to deal with this profound tragedy."

It happened in a community that’s 93 percent white with less than 1 percent African-American. The New York Times article mentions former Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love who’s been Utah's only black mayor but has distanced herself from commenting specifically on this case.

She explained why Tuesday night.

"My heart goes out to all of the families that are involved. I think the last thing that we really need are politicians making comments that are going to fuel the fire. I want to make sure that it goes through the proper channels and I think it's inappropriate of me to make any comment about things that I don't have all of the information for," Love said

Jeanetta Williams, President of the tri-state conference NAACP is also holding off on making a statement, saying it’s premature given the conflicting stories that have been reported.

Williams wants the investigation to run its course and says after the Utah County Attorney has released more information and determined whether the shooting is justified or not, the NAACP will make a statement.

Hunt's funeral is Thursday at 11 a.m., then he'll be buried at Crescent Cemetery in Sandy.  The family is expected to be part of a news conference and take questions sometime after the funeral, possibly on Friday.

FOX 13 will keep you updated as the details become available.

Information on Darrien Hunt's memorial can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/DarrienHuntMemorial

Read related stories below:

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

 Family of man fatally shot by police looking for answers

 Authorities say race did not play ‘any role’ in fatal shooting of man in Saratoga Springs

 Vigil held for man fatally shot by police in Saratoga Springs

 UPDATE: Saratoga Springs Police Chief apologizes for Facebook post

 Elected official advocates for police body cams after Saratoga springs shooting

13 comments

  • Sterling Wulff

    With all the preliminary evidence and eye witness testimony it seems beyond reasonable doubt that this young man was murdered. He was murdered by the Sarasota Police that are now currently involved in yet another Utah active coverup campaign. These Utah police murders are becoming all too common with every big “investugation” being conducted BY the police in DEFENSE of the police.
    It’s ALL l;ies, it’s ALL cover up and it’s ALL corrupt.

    I really do hesitate to say the this trend may real soon see a role reversal just as we saw in the police ambush in Pennsylvania. I feel that citizens are losing all sense of safety, trust, or any personal control over their personal lives and now people are going to start fighting back on a grand and dangerous scale, and I think the police as a whole need to recognize that the people of ANY society can or will only take so much….. Time for damage control before it becomes too late.

    You don’t have to be a War General to understand those BASIC society dynamics.

    Just both my opinion and real world observation…..

    • StinkyPete

      Unfortunately, you are not a lawyer, as is painfully obvious by your inability to spell and use proper grammar.
      I will not be taking your “real world observation” into account and may god have mercy on your soul.

      • Sterling Wulff

        Hey STINKY, and I believe you’re named that for a true life reason…. can you even stay on point for anything less that a full sentence ??? “May GOD have Mercy on my Soul” – what the hell are you besides your typical HIPPOCRITE. If you’re so “into GOD” then why do you TROLL the internet as you do ??? HUH ??
        GOD BLESS YOU – you represent the OUTSTANDING example of religious perversion.

        Fact: Eyewitness observations originally reported when the story first broke, but are now nowhere to be heard, directly conflict with the lies and coverups the police are routinely using to condone their now routine use of the deadly use of force without following existing police protocol.

        I would also bet that you actually believe everything obama and his murdering administration tell you. You go boyfriend… sounds like you’re already there. Wherever that is….

        Please PRAY for ME… on second thought DON’T. I don’t need your scum in my universe….

    • Lois

      It was the Saratoga Police, and give the investigation time to be completed. Stop relying on the media to give you anything close to the truth. They’re in it for the ratings. And what police murders are you talking about? Maybe the police who have been murdered by deranged people?

  • SheepDog

    You don’t have any evidence. You have some reports by the media that are skewed for ratings and statements from anguished family members who, understandably, want to believe the best of their relative. This is being investigated with ALL the evidence by multiple independent sets of eyes. How about we give the police the same courtesy we would anyone else and consider them “innocent until proven guilty”. Or is that just for people you like?

  • Jennifer

    I love this quote by Mia Love:

    “My heart goes out to all of the families that are involved. I think the last thing that we really need are politicians making comments that are going to fuel the fire. I want to make sure that it goes through the proper channels and I think it’s inappropriate of me to make any comment about things that I don’t have all of the information for.”

    What great leadership! Thank you, Mia, for not adding flames to the fire. Doing so would be irresponsible, and I thank you for recognizing that.

  • P

    Utah Criminal Code
    Chapter 2
    Principles of Criminal Responsibility
    Section 404
    Peace officer’s use of deadly force.

    76-2-404. Peace officer’s use of deadly force.
    (1) A peace officer, or any person acting by his command in his aid and assistance, is justified in using deadly force when:
    (a) the officer is acting in obedience to and in accordance with the judgment of a competent court in executing a penalty of death under Subsection 77-18-5.5(3) or (4);
    (b) effecting an arrest or preventing an escape from custody following an arrest, where the officer reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by escape; and
    (i) the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a felony offense involving the infliction or threatened infliction of death or serious bodily injury; or
    (ii) the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect poses a threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to others if apprehension is delayed; or
    (c) the officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person.
    (2) If feasible, a verbal warning should be given by the officer prior to any use of deadly force under Subsection (1)(b) or (1)(c).

    Amended by Chapter 51, 2004 General Session

  • Pamela Smith

    Does anyone else notice that Darrien Hunt does not LOOK black? He appears to me that he could pass for anything from middle eastern to hailing from the carribean, and many places in between. To suggest that cops pegged him as “black” sounds to me quite unreasonable.

  • liz

    looks “black” to me… but then again I’m around a lot of black people and i’m aware they don’t ALL look the same. He looks black and white…what he is.

  • tantalizingtehya

    Kinda hard to disprove the autopsy, which according to the family attorney and NOT the media says he was shot from behind with the fatal shot being to the center of his back!

    “Hunt’s family and their attorney are refuting those claims, saying that witnesses saw Hunt running from the officers as they fired on him, that he was shot six times from behind and that he fell and died about 100 yards from where police initially made contact with him.
    Edwards, the attorney, said that an independent autopsy conducted at the behest of the family shows that the fatal shot struck Hunt at the center of his back. Five other gunshots struck him from behind, he said, including shots to his legs, shoulder, elbow and hand.”

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