SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- One day after the crime scene tape was taken down in Saratoga Springs, a memorial went up in its place.
“We’re in a nightmare,” Cindy Moss said.
Moss helped lay flowers outside a Panda Express restaurant, the place where her nephew, Darrien Hunt, was shot and killed by police on Wednesday.
“For us, it’s trying to find some way to mourn him when we haven’t even been able to see him,” Moss said.
The last time anyone saw Hunt, 22, was before he left home on a walk in the morning.
According to Saratoga Springs Police, someone called to report a man, Hunt, was walking around the nearby Chevron gas station with a samurai sword.
“There’s no blade on it. It’s just a rounded edge,” Moss said of the sword. “It’d be like hitting someone with a stick. And they murdered him over it.”
Two police officers approached Hunt outside a convenience store. According to witnesses, the three began to talk, and nothing appeared to be wrong.
“They had stopped him, and they were all having a conversation,” said Jocelyn Hansen, who was parked at the gas station. “It didn’t look escalated, or heated at all.”
Hansen said she watched as police questioned Hunt, but just as she turned away, gunfire erupted.
“When I looked up, I saw the young man turning away from the police, and I saw what I thought were two 2x4’s in his hands, one in each hand,” Hansen said. “Then, I saw police officer running after him, and they could have both had guns, but I saw one for sure with his gun extended."
What happened during Hunt’s conversation with police is still unclear. Police could only confirm that a sword was found with Hunt, but released no further information on Thursday. The Utah County Attorney’s office is investigating the shooting, per protocol.
“We’d like to know why we can’t get any answers, why they won’t tell us what really happened,” Moss said.
A fund has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. Donations can be made at America First Credit Union under Darrien Hunt's name.