SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — The mother of a Saratoga Springs young man shot and killed by police this week believes he wouldn’t have been shot were her son white.
‘I’m in Saratoga Springs, cause it’s a safe little community and they killed him,’ Susan Hunt said on Friday. ‘They killed my son because he’s black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away’, an emotional Susan Hunt said while crying Friday.
‘Would they have done that to any white boy?’ she added.
“Those stupid cops thought they had to murder over a toy. This is my baby. This is my family and, they ruined my family.”
Police say they shot Darrien Nathaniel Hunt, 22, whose father is black and mother is white, on Wednesday morning while he was carrying what they have described as a Samurai sword. They were responding to a report of a suspicious person.
But police have released absolutely no information about what prompted two Saratoga Springs police officers to shoot the man and very little information about the crime scene, the Deseret News reported.
In a statement, a city spokesman denied race had anything to do with the officers’ actions.
“We sympathize with Mr. Hunt’s family during this difficult time. Any claim that our officers’ actions were a result of Mr. Hunt’s race are completely unfounded and speculative. Our officers responded to a call for service and addressed the situation that was presented to them. The Utah County Attorney’s Office continues to investigate the incident.”
There have been differing witness accounts about Hunt’s demeanor prior to the shooting. While all agree he stood out with his 3-foot sword strapped to his back, some have described him as “distressed” while others said he was “totally calm.”
Hunt had reportedly been walking near several shops in the area of Crossroads Boulevard and Redwood Road around a group of businesses, including a Panda Express, a gas station, an auto parts store, and a credit union.
One of the witnesses sent Susan Hunt a photo of police confronting her son outside the bank just before shots were fired. The pictures shows two officers standing on either side of Darrien Hunt, with no sword visible.
At that point a shot was fired, according to the Hunt family’s limited information, and more rang out as Mr. Hunt ran toward the Panda Express, and the young man was struck and killed.
‘I’ve been begging the police, why from the time I saw the pictures of you just standing by him with his hands to his side, does he end up seconds later with a bullet in him?’ Susan Hunt said. ‘And then if he’s running, why you had to put in more bullets, and I don’t even know how many? That’s what I want to know. Would they have done that to any white boy?’
Watch Susan Hunt below: