Authorities name officers involved in fatal shooting of Darrien Hunt, release image of sword

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- More than a week after Darrien Hunt, 22, was shot and killed by police in Saratoga Springs, his family called on the U.S. Department of Justice to review the case.

"All I see is my son being murdered and nobody wanting to come forward," said Hunt's mother, Susan Hunt.

On Friday, the family's attorney said he believes the shooting was racially motivated, which should warrant an investigation by a federal agency.

"I believe that he would not have had that encounter with police had he not been different, and in Saratoga Springs, black is different," said Randall Edwards, who is representing the family.

Investigators with the Utah County Attorney's Office said they have found no evidence to suggest Hunt's race played a role in what happened.

According to Saratoga Springs Police Chief Andy Burton, the claim from the family is unfounded.

"I don't know where he's getting his information because that kind of allegation is just absolutely absurd," Burton said.

The two officers involved in the shooting have been identified as Corporal Matt Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson.

Schauerhamer has been with the department for 4.5 years, while Judson has been employed for nearly a year.

Neither have ever had any race-related complaints made against them, according to Burton.

In the department's history, he said there has only been one such complaint, which was filed about 5 years ago. After an investigation by another police department, the officer involved was exonerated.

"We as a department and as a city do not tolerate anything of the sort. Also, along those lines, we have a stellar record in that regard," Burton said, "So, I don't know where he's coming up with this idea."

Authorities have said that Hunt lunged at the two officers with a sword when they approached him outside a Top Stop convenience store in Saratoga Springs on September 10.

The Utah County Attorney's Office released a picture of the sword Friday afternoon. The photo indicates the sword measures about 3.5-feet long. See below for a full-size image of the sword.

However, the family's attorney contends it was all part of a costume Hunt was wearing that day, which is similar to the anime characters he liked.

"I just can't believe that this kid in a costume is somehow posing such a threat to the officers or the safety of everyone else that deadly force was the first and only option leading to six bullets, none of them in the front," Edwards said.

Investigators believe Hunt was using the sword for more than just a costume. The evidence, thus far, suggests he tried to strike the officers with it, according to deputy chief Tim Taylor of the Utah County Attorney's Office.

"It went from 0-120 almost immediately, without any warning whatsoever," Taylor said. "We know that Mr. Hunt pulled out that sword and swung it towards the officers, maybe in an attempt to kill them. I mean, that's how quick it was."

With more witnesses to question, the investigation is ongoing, by both the county and the family.

Sword from Darrien Hunt shooting via Utah County Attorney's Office Click here for more coverage regarding the incident.

38 comments

    • D.R.

      There’s zero evidence he swung the sword at the officers. The only photos of the incident available so far are of him standing with his hands at his side and an autopsy shows that he was shot six times in the back. Wearing a sword is not a crime or even a legitimate reason to stop and talk to him. This is similar to the shooting of John Crawford at an Ohio. The liar who called the police said he was loading a gun. It was a toy BB gun and it never left it’s packaging. He was shot in the back, then said it was a toy and then and only then did police tell him to get on the ground. Not hard considering he was dying. This was all caught on tape at the Walmart. What white father of two would have been gunned down like that for holding a toy gun and talking on the phone?

      Darrien Hunt posed no threat. There will be no police call recording of him brandishing the sword. He was a black man who probably got lippy with scum who had no legal authority to talk to him in the first place and when he decided he had enough talking to lovers and turned and walked away they shot him 6 times in the back.

      That is what the evidence shows and will continue to show. Furthermore, timing the release of the photo of the showing the name of the officers is a ploy and is evil. Sadly, the Chiefs family will not disown him for that tactic because his family is just like him.

  • CGB

    Rounded edge, my a**!! I’d hate to see what everyone claiming this is a “toy” would call a real sword. Sharpened or not, THAT is deadly.

    • Joe

      so… who had access to the blade this last week? Not that police would ever cover something up, but to me the most concerning thing is that the county attorneys office keeps making statements that the police did nothing wrong prior to completing an investigation. Where are they getting this methodology? Thats NOT how an investigation is done, Any investigation that has an answer before the facts are reviewed is basically a sham.

      • D.R.

        That’s what you do when you cover for your friends at a partner agency. They don’t need to complete an investigation to help out their friends

    • Rylan

      So is a gun, it one is walking around with that can an officer kill you on site? Typical American conservative tool, promotes guns but a sword is just completely out there. Why don’t you review Utah’s laws before you start spouting off? Why is non Americans know more than Americans nearly all the time?

      • Shawn

        If you draw the gun and point it at a police officer. I do believe the answer would be YES you will be shot immediately by any and all officers in the area.

  • Alex

    When they said “toy sword” I was expecting much different than this. This does look pretty legit from a first glance view. And a pointy tip is still as bad as a sharp edge. From the cops perspective, if he really did draw the sword and lunge, they can’t tell the difference between “toy” sword and the real deal.

  • CGB

    Utah is an open carry state. Our officers will respond to reports of suspicious activity if requested as a courtesy to the public, even if that suspicious activity is a legal open carry of any weapon. I’m assuming you’re implying they haven’t responded to report of “white people carrying fully automatic machine guns,” and if so, you’re wrong. Most of those incidents don’t involve engaging an officer, or the public, with that weapon. They are handled without incident and the media doesn’t report them often, unless the public makes a demand for information.

      • Shawn

        Sounds like you were there Joe. How about you enlighten us to the entire situation then since you seem to be convinced that you know they “shot first and asked questions later”? Sounds like a statement from a witness on scene to me. Or are you assuming that’s what happened? Because I’d think that would warrant a statement of “Sounds to me like they shot first and asked questions later” instead of insisting you’re completely accurate… Food for thought.

  • Doug

    Regardless, when a cop says to drop the weapon or put your hands up you should comply. Certainly don’t give them a reason to shoot, just do exactly as they say and do it slowly showing them you mean no harm. I’m not saying you will come out okay, but not complying will always end badly.

  • SheepDog

    “The family’s attorney said he believes officials are only releasing information that corroborates authorities’ narrative.”

    Hmmm? I don’t recall the family’s attorney doing thorough research and releasing fair and balance information. Also, his playing his games on the media only reaffirms my opinion that he is using this family’s grief and a stepping stone for self promotion. He is NOT acting as a responsible representative searching for truth, but as the stereotypical “ambulance chaser” looking for profit and self promotion.

  • Xstriker

    So the mayor of Saratoga Springs is an African American woman, yet the family attorney is claiming that the officers she employs are racist? Not only that, but that the Officers are so racist that they would gun down a mix race black man in the middle of a populated area for no reason whatsoever. Good one, I’m sure it had nothing to do with the actual incident and everything to do with race…

  • 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

  • Bob

    And you expect a police officer to examine the edge in the heat of the moment before calling President Obama to get permission to respond? No, Bobsanidiot, you’re the only idiot here.

  • tantalizingtehya

    I wonder how those officers were in fear for their lives when the sword was across his back and he was running AWAY from them? Maybe they thought the sword would “magically” come to life and go after them so they had to shoot this kid in the back to prevent it… Murder is murder and when you shot someone in the back there is no way you can say self defense!!!

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