Family of man fatally shot by police looking for answers

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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.

21 comments

  • Bob

    Sorry Cindy Moss but a sword without a sharp edge is similar to a replica handgun. Threaten a peace officer with either one and depending on the circumstances you may only leave him a split second to evaluate and respond.
    How hard can it possibly be to act like a normal decent human being and behave yourself?

    • Cindy Moss

      And btw…. what do you mean. … a replica toy gun. … I can carry a real gun around if i want everyday…. on my back or in my pocket, down my pants. It’s not against the law to carry any weapon. …
      And the only aggression observed by anyone that day was when the police opened fire. …. many witnesses. … Nothing from Darrien. ….

      • leaveBLANK

        Many comments are ignorant and absolute in thought too foolish to consider human aspects such as quality of life, remorse, decency and world view perspective. Cops should be held more accountable as they are THE AUTHORITY… more so than the average citizen for reasons an intellectual human should comprehend therefore I refuse to explain. Also, anyone who doesn’t understand that blacks are still deemed second class citizens in todays society should knowingly remain ignorant and remove themselves from the conversation for you are too absolute in thought and incapable of being proven wrong in any social or political matter because you are simply… an as$. As a human… this hurts. As a human… He shouldn’t have been gunned down. As a human… These cops are untrained, reckless and harmfull to ALL Americans in this occupation. It won’t stop because people like BOB… Who, perhaps, would prefer to give cops even more authority although many are too incompetent to handle the authority they already have. Tell me that’s not sick.

    • morgan lopez

      There was no reason it had to escalate so largely, there could’ve been warning shots? Tazer? they could’ve even tried to tackle him, but they haveno reason or right to instantly shoot someone six times in the back, clearly aiming to kill.

  • Jason

    “2x4s, one in each hand” that says to me that he drew the sword. What do you expect officers to do at that point, “wait a second sir, before we go any further, does that sword actually have a sharp edge or nor?” It is just as BOB said, they have to treat it like it is real, just like with a replica handgun.

    • Cindy Moss

      DARRIEN WASN’T BOTHERING ANYONE JUST LISTENING TO MUSIC AND PLAYING WITH THE SWORD BY HIMSELF…. ISN’T A PERSON ALLOWED TO CARRY WHATEVER THEY WANT AS LONG AS THEY AREN’T THREATENING OR BOTHERING ANYONE ANYMORE….. I GUESS I’M CONFUSED THOUGHT I LIVED IN AMERICA! LET’S SEE…. HOW DOES A PERSON SHOOT A PERSON IN THE BACK WHILE THEY ARE LUNGING AT THEM?? ALL OF THE BULLET WOUNDS CAME ENTERED FROM THE BACK SIDE OF HIS BODY! HMMMMM!!
      THINK ABOUT IT! PLEASE!! YOU’RE NOT HELPING, BY YOUR IGNORANCE, FOR ANYTHING TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER.

    • Cindy Moss

      No 2×4 …. a decorating model takana, and it’s plastic Sheth, so the metal doesn’t turn all colors and stays cool looking. … (probably had to pull it apart so obviously two pieces. … hard to run from bullets with a three foot model takana hooked to you…. )
      The only mistake Darien made that day was trusting those cops….
      Think….. hmmmm…. how aggressive a person is running from you?

  • The Dude

    I imagine the conversation went something like the following:
    Cop1: Sir, we need you to put down the weapon
    Hunt: I’m sorry officer, this is just a play sword, it’s literally just a big stick
    Cop2: Watch out, he’s coming right for us! *BANG* *BANG* Why are you resisting arrest? *BANG* *BANG*
    Cop1: Good job, now sprinkle some crack on him and let’s get out of here….

  • SomeGuy

    It may not have been because of race but it is because of a poor police department. Saratoga Springs Police Department use the excessive force any time they can. I have heard so many stories of them bullying and using their badge to justify any action. You NEVER shoot someone in the back. They are no longer a threat at that point. You have more options than your pistol. How about your taser or K9? The bullet that hit the yellow charger was number 21. Why are the police shooting over 20 times at a man who is running away with just a sword? That’s excessive force and extremely poor judgement on the police department.

  • Cindy Moss

    And BTW WE HAD THIS EXACT SWORD IN MY HOUSE THAT WE GOT IN JAPAN MY KIDS PLAYED WITH IT AND HIT EACH OTHER AND ME WITH IT ALL THE TIME. … PLAYING. .. BUT HARD!!!!. … USUALLY WHEN I SAW IT SWINGING AT ME. ..I SWATTED IT AWAY…. PRETTY SIMPLE ESPECIALLY FOR TWO COPS…..
    HAVE YOU SEEM THE PICTURE TAKEN BY AN EYE WITNESS TAKEN 2 SECONDS BEFORE THE FIRST SHOT WAS FIRED. … DOES HE LOOK LIKE HE’S LUNGING AT THEN WITH A SWORD OR EVEN GETTING READY TO. … IT WAS AROUND 3 FEET LONG, NOT TOO EASY TO MOVE IT REALLY FAST! OR REMOVE IT FROM ITS SHEETH…..
    NEED TO START PAYING ATTENTION PEOPLE! SO THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN TO SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT!!!

    • Mom

      This story is so sad to me. My 8 year old son who does karate has exactly one of those swords. I can also see my 21 year old son in exactly this situation. We are living in a militant state. We have to teach our children to
      fear the exact people who should be protecting them, the police. May he rest in peace and your family recover from this horrific event.

  • Judith Howell

    Request an investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI and any other agency that would find excessive force by the police there to be violation of civil rights. The police could have stood a protective distance away and asked the young man to show them the sword, put in on the ground and back up so they could look at it. They obviously were either not scared of the young man since they stood so close to him – or – they were relying on their guns to subdue him. Neither should have happened.

  • Willy Chee

    So, it looks like a sword, but isn’t? How was the cop supposed to know? It’s like someone is pointing a gun at them – do they have to ask if it is loaded? Seems mommy should have taught her young man the dangers of threatening someone or giving the impression that they are. Complying with the officer’s instructions would have eliminated the cause of the shooting. Need to see it from the police side: Officers have the right to home to their families after their shift. They must defend themselves.
    Be interesting to see how this plays out. The autopsy indicated the man was shot in the back. Why? Did the officer fear the man was a danger to the community armed with that sword?

    • mother

      If he was shot in the back, please inform me why they would think he was a threat? Obviously he was walking away. Cops have the right to go home safe to there family after there shift. Civilians have that same right. He was a kid with a plastic sword. They could have tasered him. They could have asked him to set it down and walk away from it. As close as they were standing to him and the fact he was walking or running from them tells me he was not a threat to them. Look at the facts, the witnesses, pictures, tapes. This was a child with a toy. 22 may be an adult but still a young adult. He had a whole life to live. My heart and my thoughts go out to this family. May he rest in peace. I hope you get your answers soon and that you may find peace one day. It will be a difficult journey i know. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  • First amen

    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

  • tinikia

    This is really sad but it goes back to what I’ve said all along. Until the implied immunity that cops have is removed, we will keep having this problem. It is not a race problem. It is a authority abuse problem by the police. If we kill someone as a citizen, we’re going to jail immediately, but if you’re a cop, you go on vacation for a while ( paid leave) and return back to work. Cops do deserve to go home but so does people family members. No one should be allowed to just murder people and go unpunished and cops do it too frequently. They’d think twice before killing people if they knew they would be held accountable. Also it never fails that their departments will never apologize or even consider that the copeople clearly broke the law or at the least, acted negligent.

    • Bob

      If you want implied immunity, whatever that is, removed let’s take it one step further and disband the police entirely. When your in trouble and need help take care of the problem yourself. It would certainly benefit the rapists, robbers, thieves, and drunk drivers ….. and would reduce overcrowding in our prisons.

  • leaveBLANK

    Incase someone missed it…
    Many comments are ignorant and absolute in thought too foolish to consider human aspects such as quality of life, remorse, decency and world view perspective. Cops should be held more accountable as they are THE AUTHORITY… more so than the average citizen for reasons an intellectual human should comprehend therefore I refuse to explain. Also, anyone who doesn’t understand that blacks are still deemed second class citizens in todays society should knowingly remain ignorant and remove themselves from the conversation for you are too absolute in thought and incapable of being proven wrong in any social or political matter because you are simply… an as$. As a human… this hurts. As a human… He shouldn’t have been gunned down. As a human… These cops are untrained, reckless and harmfull to ALL Americans in this occupation. It won’t stop because people like BOB… Who, perhaps, would prefer to give cops even more authority although many are too incompetent to handle the authority they already have. Tell me that’s not sick. My condolences…

Comments are closed.