Hunt told the Deseret News:
“I’m in Saratoga Springs, cause it’s a safe little community and they killed him. They killed my son because he’s black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away.”
Darrien Nathaniel Hunt, 22 left home that morning carrying what police have described as a Samurai sword slung across his back. His mother describes the sword as “a toy” saying that it was a Katana, purchased at a local Asian gift shop — a souvenir sword that couldn’t cut anything.
Eyewitnesses gave differing accounts of Hunt’s demeanor while speaking to the two police officers just before the shooting took place. Some witnesses described his behavior as “distressed” while others said that he remained “totally calm.”
Police have said that the officers shot Hunt as he lunged at them with the sword.
A witness has contacted Susan Hunt with a photograph taken moments before the shooting which shows her son between the two officers with his hands at his side and the sword nowhere in sight.
Randall Edwards, an attorney for the Hunt family, said that the family had asked for an independent autopsy which determined that “was shot numerous times, all from the rear.”
In a statement Edwards said:
“This is consistent with statements made by witnesses on the scene who report that Darrien was shot to death while running away from the police.
It would appear difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile these facts with a story that Darrien was lunging toward the officers when he was shot. We continue to hope that a full investigation will reveal the whole truth about this tragedy.”
In a statement on Friday in response to the claim of racial profiling a spokesman for the police department said:
“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.”
Hunt said that her son suffered from emotional issues as a result of many years of abuse at the hands of his father, but that he was not a violent man. She said that all the suffering and injustice in the world upset him and that he wanted to do something to make a difference.
“In his mind, he was struggling to figure out why there was so much sadness,” she said.
All she wants to know is why her son is dead.