The Utah County Attorney investigating the police shooting of Darrien Hunt says their investigation is almost over.
Utah County Attorney Tim Taylor says the Utah Medical Examiner’s autopsy report released Tuesday shed some light on the events that happened on the day of the shooting, but that their investigation had already uncovered many other details. A search warrant the courts unsealed on Wednesday revealed some of those, including a narrative of the incident.
The report says Corporal Matt Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson of the Saratoga Springs police department stopped Hunt and asked him to place his sword on the hood of their car. Hunt refused. Eventually, he unsheathed the sword and began swinging it at Schauerhamer, who drew his gun and fired.
The report then describes how Hunt ran away around a nearby Panda Express. It also says Schauerhamer chased Hunt because he thought he needed to stop him before he was able to hurt or kill someone. As Hunt continued to run away towards the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot, Schauerhamer fired three more shots that hit Hunt in the back and caused him to collapse.
“Some people might jump to the conclusion that automatically that means it’s not justified,” says Utah County Attorney Tim Taylor.
“But the question, under the statute, is, was it reasonable to believe for the officer at the time that he needed to use deadly force to stop Mr. Hunt from committing serious injury or death to either the officer or another person.”
Taylor says they’ve found other court cases that involve similar incidents that will help them determine if the shooting was justified or not. He says they expect to announce it later this week or early next.