SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- Four days after Saratoga Springs Police shot and killed a man in a local shopping plaza, they took to Facebook to address the shooting and those covering it.
Darrien Hunt, 22, was killed Wednesday.
In a post on the police department’s official page, they said in part, “Everyone should remember that the news outlets have ratings they need to gain. They don’t report facts. They use innuendo, opinion and rumor and then report it as fact.”
That was Sunday. By Monday, the post was gone, and the city’s Police Chief Andrew Burton issued a statement.
“We apologize for this comment and have removed the comment. We ask the media and the public for patience and understanding of our position and lack of ability to answer all the questions posed at this time,” Burton stated.
Because the Utah County Attorney’s office is handling the investigation, few details have been released.
“We personally have not heard one word from the police,” said Hunt’s aunt, Cindy Moss.
Authorities have said that a witness called them to the Top Stop convenience store, after seeing Hunt walking around with a “samurai-type sword.”
When two officers approached Hunt, police contend he brandished the sword and lunged at them.
Hunt’s family said they did an independent autopsy to tell them what happened next.
“They showed that Darrien was shot six times. The shot that did kill him hit him right in the back. So there is some question as to what he was doing, where he was going, obviously he was running away at the time he was shot and killed. That we do know,” said family attorney, Randall Edwards.
The questions that still remain in this case could be easily answered in the future with police body cameras, according to Rep. David Lifferth-R.
“It’s probably a pretty wise investment at this point to have body cams on police officers,” Lifferth said.
Lifferth, a representative for Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain, recently made headlines for comments he made about the NAACP and racism on social media, but on Monday he was the only elected officials FOX 13 could get to join this conversation.
“It used to be cost prohibitive for a small city, like Saratoga Springs, to provide body cams for the police officers. But now, it’s fairly inexpensive,” Lifferth said. “I think it’s probably a safe thing for everyone involved, the police officers themselves, for the community, for residents.”