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Family, Friends Celebrate Life of Saratoga Springs Man Shot by Police

Whittney Evans
Pallbearers carry Darrien Hunt's casket after the funeral.

The 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs Police last week was laid to rest in Sandy Thursday afternoon.  The funeral took place at an LDS church not far from where he died.

There was little discussion of the circumstances surrounding Darrien Hunt’s death which is still being investigated by Utah County Attorney’s office.  It was a solemn service, broken up by a few moments of joyful tears and laughter. The press was allowed to attend the funeral, but recording devices were not allowed inside the service.

Several young men from Hunt’s LDS Ward took to the pulpit, recalling a camping trip they all took to Southern Utah, where Hunt helped the group climb Mount Peal. They spoke of his observant nature, his kindness and his lack of fear. 

Tamu Smith is a friend of the Hunt family. She spoke to KUER outside the church saying she’s disheartened by the attendance at the funeral, pointing out the absence of local political and religious leaders, as well as the broader community. 

“In this community of saints and Christians, we believe in mourning with those that mourn and standing with those, shouldering each other’s burdens and it’s painful to see how empty this parking lot it,” Smith says.

Smith says lines have been drawn and support has been thrown behind the Saratoga Springs Police Department instead of behind a family who’s lost a son.

“I don’t think that it’s that much of a political statement to have said, I’m going to go and I’m going to wrap my arms around this family because that’s what’s needed right now,” Smith says.

Hunt was shot and killed September 10th outside a Panda Express in Saratoga Springs. Police have said Hunt, who was carrying a Samurai sword lunged at the officers. The Hunt’s family attorney says an independent investigation contradicts that claim—saying Hunt was shot six times from behind.  Officials with the Saratoga Springs Police Department and the Utah County Attorney’s office have yet to release any information regarding the officer involved shooting.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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