Audio of 911 call in fatal officer-involved shooting of Darrien Hunt released

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SARTOGA SPRINS, Utah -- It's been three weeks since 22-year-old Darrien Hunt was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs Police. The incident is still under investigation, but Thursday authorities released the 911 call that sent officers looking or Hunt.

We can hear in the 911 recording the citizen stating, "I saw a guy walking towards the Wal-Mart area in a red shirt and he was carrying a samurai sword."

The rest of the 911 call is fairly typical, according to Saratoga Springs Police Chief Andrew Burton. The caller is heard answering a string of questions from the dispatcher about the person in question - Darrien Hunt.

Burton told FOX 13 News: "A lot of times people call and they don't want to be involved, they don't want to leave their name, they want to be anonymous. The fact that this individual was willing to give his name and phone number lends some additional credibility to the report that there's something amiss."

Burton went on to explain the fact that a sword was reported was enough for the seasoned dispatcher to classify the situation as suspicious.

"She felt like the caller indicated, 'Hey the guy's got a samurai sword,' which is not something you run into very often so that bit of information caused some concern,” Burton said.

Hunt's Aunt, Cindy Moss, however feels the caller's calm demeanor is another sign her nephew wasn’t posing a threat.

"It again states that he wasn't really bothering anyone,” she said. “He just had the sword on his back and he was walking down the street."

Moss said she still can't fathom why a standard 911 call by a single citizen led to her nephew being shot and killed by police officers.

"I think Darrien looks different in Saratoga Springs because he's Black,” she said. “I also think maybe people are a little more paranoid because of things that go on in the world. But I don't think it's necessarily bad that he called in to say somebody's out there, I think the police reaction is the shocking part."

Moss said her family is working with their new attorney to prepare for a lawsuit against the Saratoga Springs Police Department.

When asked about Hunt's frame of mind or what he was doing with the sword, Police Chief Burton wouldn't comment on the specific exchange between his officers and Hunt, as this is an ongoing investigation.

He did urge everyone involved to wait for the official autopsy results and findings of the investigation before casting any judgments in this case.

12 comments

  • Robert Kelley

    My question about this is – – why in the world would anyone would walk around with any type of sword after seeing, hearing and understand that this could be considered as a threat to the public – – especially after what that man did to his co-worker not to long ago! – – this was a bad decision on 22-year-old Darrien Hunt! and not any fault of the police officer who killed him!… and i pray for Darrien’s family!…

    • Cindy Moss

      Is it a bag decision that I and many other people carry guns….. far more deadly … obviously from what these cops did to an innocent man. And it’s legal! What was his crime … not concealing his weapon…. is not a crime! How would you like to be shot down for the belief that you could hurt someone…. that means we are all at any time at the mercy of if the “police” feel in danger…. so they can decide if they want to kill you!!! Seriously think about it!

    • vince

      Did you read correctly, Mr. Kelley! It was perfectly legal! He broke no laws! Wouldn’t the police know the LAW! By the way, what happen to the Taser gun? Make no excuses for these punk a—-s police officers (not referring to all police officers), they have enough of their own! (Vince)

  • James V.

    Yup, she had to go with the race issue while never acknowledging the fact that he had no business carrying something that regardless of what anyone says, looks like a weapon. In our overly politically correct society, please call it what it is, a stupid decision by the kid to carry a weapon and the added fact that he ignored poice orders which cost him his life. I have sympathy that this young man is gone, but it is not the police to blame.

    • Beth Daniels

      I don’t think any of us have evidence that he ignored police orders. There is a photo of him smiling and talking to officers seconds before he was killed. I can imagine a scenario — like the guy that was gunned down in Walmart in the middle of purchasing a bb gun sold there — where Hunt was saying “look, it’s from Comic-Con” and in the middle of putting it down, when the police drew their weapons, fired and Hunt ran away, terrified.

      The point is, we can imagine scenarios on either side. Let’s find out what happened before blaming the dead guy. We have lots of recent evidence that the police don’t necessarily wait long before issuing a warning and pulling the trigger.

  • Beth D.

    I agree that carrying a sword down the street isn’t very smart, but it *was* sheathed and if I’m not mistaken, Utah is an open carry state. I’ve seen images of another 22-year-old carrying an automatic weapon strapped to his back in a Starbuck’s — no one shot him six times in the back. There’s also a photo of Hunt smiling and talking to police officers seconds before he was killed. Arms by his side; sword in sheath. This sounds like a terrible lack of judgment on all sides, but in the case of police, one that proved fatal.

  • Nana

    This horrible encounter started because of a 911 call. The caller did not say he was swinging his sword around nor doing anything threatening. Only that he was carrying a samurai sword. I’ve seen the picture of Darrien walking down the street dressed in costume with his sheathed sword over his back. All I see is a young man minding his own business. Because of this 911 call a handsome young man now is dead and the two officers will have to live with the fact that they took his life. For all of the over zealous 911 callers that find the need to report non emergency situations: You need to know that this month there will be people strangely dressed, possibly some will have blood stained clothes and hands, many will have knifes on their belts or in their pockets, and almost all of these individuals will be carrying rifles. Even though some may appear to be somewhat suspicious rather they are white, black, brown, or green, Please refrain from calling the police, they are only Deer Hunters!

    • Bob

      A 15-year-old female student of Richmond High School was raped repeatedly by a group of young men in a school yard while as many as 20 witnesses watched. Thank goodness none of them were over zealous and called 911.

      • Nana

        Bad analogy, not even close to the same thing that took place in Saratoga Springs! Here a young man was doing absolutely nothing illegal compared to the situation you made reference to.

  • phil

    He was shot in the back. The officers had no justification for the stop since he was not breaking any law. Any fear or concern was generated by the officers and not the fact the man was carrying a sword.

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