Search warrant explains Darrien Hunt shooting, drug use

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah - Drug use, hallucinations and death threats; a document from the Utah County attorney reveals more about Darrien Hunt and what led officers to shoot him.

In the Utah County Attorney’s affidavit supporting a search warrant unsealed Wednesday, officers reveal what led to the shooting Sept. 10., from their perspective.

Officers called about man with sword

The affidavit states two Saratoga Springs officers were called to check on a suspicious person reported walking with a “samurai-like” sword toward Walmart.

Officers eventually found Hunt, 22, carrying the sword and stopped to speak with him.

Corporal Matt Schauerhamer asked Hunt to place the sword on his patrol car while they talked, but Hunt refused.An evidence photo courtesy of the Utah County Attorney's Office showing the sword involved in the fatal shooting of Darrien Hunt

“I can’t do that,” Hunt said, according to the documents. “It’s my sword.”

The court records state that Hunt then explained that he was looking for a ride to Orem, and Schauerhamer offered to give him one, as long he handed over his sword.

Hunt, again, refused. According to the documents, when Schauerhamer told him he could not ride in the patrol car with the sword, Hunt suddenly lunged at him with the sword.

Schauerhamer pulled out his gun and began firing at Hunt, while Officer Nicholas Judson, who also responded, began to back up away from Hunt.

The document states that Schauerhamer said he knew he “had to stop Hunt before he was able to hurt or kill someone.”

Three shots were fired at Hunt before he ran, and then three more hit him as he approached a nearby Panda Express restaurant, where his body was found.  According to the report, Officer Judson only fired one shot.

In an effort to better understand what happened, investigators said they want to review Hunt’s social media activity and cell phone records to figure out what his state of mind was before the shooting.

Family releases state autopsy after Utah officers shoot sword-wielding man in back

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

Hunt's brother speaks on 40-inch sword, drug abuse Darrien Hunt autopsy

The document states the 40-inch sword belonged to Hunt's brother, Kerahn Jedidiah "KJ" Hunt, who said Hunt took it from his room.

The brother told officials Hunt had a drug problem; that he had been using marijuana for about 5 years, was making and using a drug called "DMT," a powerful hallucinogen, and had used acid in the last month.

According to the document, Hunt allegedly told his brother DMT made him "feel like he was dreaming while he was awake."

However, the family’s attorney argues that information has nothing to do with the shooting.

“Talking about some drug that he was on, like that is somehow relevant. Why would that be relevant?” asked attorney Robert Sykes.

According to a toxicology report from the State Medical Examiner, Hunt was not under the influence of anything at the time of the shooting.

“It’s another example of character assassination on this young man,” Sykes said.

But reviewing Hunt’s past could be important to the case, according to local attorney Greg Skordas.

“They have an obligation to look at his Facebook and Twitter information, his cell phone information, just as they have a duty to look at the forensics,” Skordas said.

According to the documents, a friend of Hunt’s saw that he posted a message on Facebook that said, “I have a sword, and I’m going to get shot.”

“I think what’s important in that is that it appears from what the police are saying that he may have had some either reckless, or potentially suicidal tendencies during those last few days,” Skordas said. “They need to gather all the information.”

The document states KJ said Hunt was "obsessed" with a woman he met on Facebook but she thought Hunt was "crazy" and was "going to get a restraining order against him."

When officers interviewed the woman, she said Hunt was "obsessively texting and messaging" her until her mother threatened to call the police.

The Hunt family intends to file a civil lawsuit against Saratoga Springs Police Department.

The Utah County Attorney’s Office is expected to conclude their investigation this week.

Hunt's mother tells of son's drug use, history of threats

According to the affidavit, Susan Hunt told investigators her son started using DMT to "cope with his issues."

She said, on at least one occasion, Hunt woke her up in the middle of the night while on DMT and told her he was God.

The document states Hunt's mother said her son was arrested back in January for an intoxicated domestic incident.

A witness of that fight told authorities Hunt threatened his mother and everyone in the home saying, "I want everyone dead and I'm going to kill you."

"I want everyone dead and I'm going to kill you." - Darrien Hunt

The document states Hunt's mother said her son was required to undergo a psychological evaluation after the arrest but she wasn't aware of those results.

She told officers Hunt was recently fired and that she told Hunt he needed to get a job or leave the house by the end of the week.

Susan also told authorities she got a call from her daughter's boyfriend the morning of the shooting.

She said the boyfriend told her Hunt made a disturbing Facebook post stating, "I have a sword and I'm going to get shot."

Mom sobs over official Darrien Hunt autopsy report

Protesters call for change in wake of fatal shooting of Darrien Hunt

UPDATE: Saratoga Springs Police Chief apologizes for Facebook post

32 comments

  • Matt

    So much for the “He was such a nice guy” defense! There is always more to the story and it appears as if the officers were justified in the shooting. I told this crowd before…
    Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)[1], was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that under the Fourth Amendment, when a law enforcement officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, he or she may use deadly force to prevent escape only if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

    • trevor

      So just shoot people instead of trying to help them? Great mentality. The guy was probably high but he was running away, I’m sure to get away from the crazy cops that figured the easy way was to just kill him. They shot him 3 times in the back and then followed him to finish him off. If he would have kept coming after them, then yeah they need to shoot him. But chasing him behind some restaurant to keep shooting at him is ridiculous. I’m sure Hunt was in no shape to continue to fight after being hit 3 times. Why not just hold their guns at him and tell him to drop the sword? Did they even do that? Nope, they just thought it was ok to kill him on the spot. These cops shouldn’t be on the force, they get spooked way too easily as do most trigger happy cops.

      • bob

        So are you volunteering to deal with sword-wielding druggies having psychotic breaks?

        They quite reasonably assumed that he might slash or stab the first person he encountered. They acting reasonably in response.

        Cops are not mental health professionals. His family obviously knew he had serious problems. I want to know why THEY didn’t help.

      • Howie Doin

        So the guy running down the street with a sword after lunging at police is not a safety concern to anyone who happened to walk around the corner and be face to face with him? What if they didn’t shoot him and he killed a child? Or a baby in its mothers arms? Would you be saying that the police should have done something? Better to take down this guy before an innocent person gets hurt.

    • JayHobeSound

      Who are you to decide Darrien Hunt was not “a nice guy”?! Get off your high horse already.

      “It appears the officers were justified in their shooting” mainly because you have no gag reflex for the police and you eagerly swallow their self-serving version of events.

  • Moi

    My father in law is a retired officer and he gave one theory…the reason he was shot in the back might have been because he was lunging at officers in front of him and the officers behind him took the necessary steps to stop the situation. I don’t know if that’s the case, but it seems plausible.

  • katamb-Midvale

    Lord forgive me, but that mother seemed like she was fake crying last night with her attorney sitting there next to her. I hope I’m wrong. I’ve had 3 brothers die from natural causes and I know how painful death in a family is.

    • Suzanne

      Totally agree wtih you Katamb-Midvale. I though the exact same thing about his mother – fake cry. Real sorrow results in tears. I didn’t see one tear roll down her cheek. And for all the people bashing the police, you need to understand that coming at a police officer with ANY weapon will most likely get you killed. Police officers must make split second decisions, they don’t have time to ascertain whether someone is just “joking” or whether or not a weapon is real. Police are not social workers or psychologists. If you’re dumb enough to threaten a police officer with a weapon, well then………

    • JayHobeSound

      Come down from your high horse before you fall and hurt yourself.
      It is not your place to judge how another person grieves.

  • lafemmafatalle33@yahoo.com

    So.. call in a Grand Jury.. present the facts from all angles.. and let the Grand Jury decide if charges should be filed. I don’t trust cops. And they’ve had plenty of time to get their story straight, including getting corroborating witnesses primed.

    I’m sick.. most of us are sick.. of all the behind-the-blue-wall darkness, shadow, deceit, and lies.

    If it WAS a good shoot.. let the facts see the light of day.

    • JayHobeSound

      Grand jury?! Ha, ha. Grand juries are controlled by the prosecutor who decides which evidence to present or not to present. They are not like a trial in which two sides present evidence to support their accusation/defense.

  • Edain

    How naive can people be? There is a pattern here. In almost every other case I have seen, the media can’t WAIT to get anything negative out about someone who was shot by police or involved in any crime but in this case, just as soon as there is no doubt the cops shot him in the back, all of a sudden there’s all this stuff about what a bad guy he is. They pulled this stuff out of a hat at the last minute because they had to. Why are the masses so easy to manipulate? I guess the media does have a lot of practice!

      • Seriously

        You are only interested in politicizing a tragedy and this is destroying our society. This man has family who loved him and you want to turn it into a political issue that you and your family who are scum can debate. So why don’t you do us all a favor and shut up and die since none of our wonderful families would miss you and the only ones who would are scum for loving you.

        Your family has a choice. Disown and hate you for the kind of person you are or prove that they are just like you and the reason that they are family with someone like you is because they are evil just like you are and why they aren’t family with our families is because search out others like them and call them family. Tell us what the facts are. Let’s vote on it until it is one of our children you are twisting the facts about so you can be right. Trust me if this was my son and the father of your children twisted the facts about him so it is okay to kill him while he was running away I would make sure your family has a reason to cry

      • bob

        Well, “seriously”, that was just straight-up insane. LOL! I read that 3 times and I still have no idea what you were trying to say.

  • Diane Jackson

    That is sad for any parent to lose a child, grown or otherwise. BUT, this to me is definitely NOT racially motivated. Her son obviously had some serious mental issues, and some most likely were caused by the drug use. Thought he was God? And threatened to kill his family! He was a danger to himself, his family, and to society. I think he planned on dying that way (suicide by cop) by his comment he wrote on FaceBook. The Police were just doing what they had to do to get him to stop so he wouldn’t go after someone else with the sword as he did them. Just because he didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in his system on that day, doesn’t mean he wasn’t a threat. He was a definite threat. I don’t see where the Police had an other choice but to shoot to stop him. His Mother needs to sit down and look a the whole picture, and face the facts that her son was dangerously messed up in the head. He was suppose to of gotten psychological help after being evaluated, but his Mother didn’t know the results? Myself, if it was my son, I would of made sure I knew the results and got him the help he so desperately needed. It was just a matter of time before something tragic would happen to him or someone else.

    • JayHobeSound

      You could have saved yourself many keystrokes by just stating ‘He deserved to be shot’ since that seems to be your point. Without independent witnesses, we have no obligation to trust the accuracy or honesty of the police version of events.

    • Tony

      I have to completely disagree with your opinion. The officers probably did not know about the search warrant before shooting. They probably did not know who he was before shooting. There is no evidence that he swung the sword. Where are the hospital records from of the officers if Darrien hit them? It just looks like excessive force. They aren’t Keeping SLC safe by murdering people. This seems to be a smear job and nothing more

  • karroll gates

    My son worked as a Houston police officer for 12 years in the worst crime areas of the usa. He was in hundreds of threatening situations. But quess what he never shot anyone in 12 years of every day facing situation way worse than the Utah police face so what is the problem of so many police shooting? They frighten me because they are too quick to shoot. If my son had shot anyone while on duty in Houston in the same situations as here he would be in prison.

  • karroll gates

    Maybe we need to send our officers to the Houston police academy so the can learn how to handle these kind of situation without shooting anyone. I respect the police department but they need more training.

  • Paul Duane

    This is beyond disgusting. The Utah County Attorney’s office should be above smear campaigns. It’s unfortunate that the UT County Attorney running a smear campaign is news, in and of itself, because in reporting it, they are helping perpetuate ideas that may sway public opinion in favor of what’s looking like a corrupt police department. Just as in the Michael Brown case, as with the Dillon Taylor case – none of the officers responding to the call knew the identity of the person they were encountering, and thus, none of these men’s past have any bearing on the case. PERIOD. Shame on UT County Attorney Tim Taylor.

  • Seriously

    “They have an obligation to look at his Facebook and Twitter information, his cell phone information, just as they have a duty to look at the forensics,” Skordas said.”

    Did they look at the officers social networking accounts, phone or do an investigation of their state of minds or were they too busy trying to dig up dirt on the victim?

    • Actually

      FYI, they did. I know the officers personally and they were both thoroughly investigated, especially after the shooting was accused of being a racial crime because of there had been a shred of racial discrimination in their work or private lives, they would’be been in serious trouble.

  • josh yenny

    The media has been so helpful in validating the police, while the victims are smeared after death. Why do cops even carry tasers? They all need to start wearing body cams so that ALL are protected from the heinous overuse of force that seems to be so common here in Zion. They knew going in this was a potentially troubled person. Why were they not prepared? He brought a knife to a gunfight and was denied any kind of due process as result.

  • bob

    All these liberal witnesses to the shooting! Amazing. Not a single conservative was there, but there were liberals everywhere.

    Thank God we have liberals who know everything. Otherwise we’d be in a real mess.

    Why don’t you all get together and file a Friend of the Court brief?

  • Sorry for loss

    Police officers in Saratoga Springs and anyone providing security at the Comic Con need training. I believe that Comic Con in Salt Lake had just ended. Mr. Hunt might have suspected that the two police officers were playing a role, just as he was, and didn’t expect to be shot. After being shot 3 times it is no wonder that he wanted to get way.

  • phil

    Drugs, Facebook, his attitude, having NOThING to do with their illegal detention of the man. But hey, that doesn’t matter, the cops were in fear.

  • James Walker

    So, psychologically impaired individual made a comment that can be construed as a desire to commit suicide by officer, but the family doesn’t believe the officer account of events? Seriously?

  • Yuex

    this article is insanely offensive and used solely to support troll arguments. why the hell is that quote from Darrien BOLDED and in RED? It is so irrelevant it is utterly flabbergasting! the officers have an obligation to look at Darrien’s social media feed to gather information to credit their own false claims. Why else? They’re obviously looking for these very things and nothing else. I really don’t understand how people can be so STUPID as to use nonsense like this as justification for police misconduct. my heart truly goes out to Darrien and his family.

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