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

Posted at 2:46 PM, Sep 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-19 23:44:50-04

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.

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