Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Officers in Darrien Hunt Shooting Will Not Face Charges

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

The two Saratoga Springs police officers involved in the shooting death of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt will not be charged with a crime. The Utah County Attorney’s office says the use of deadly force was legally justified. 

At 9:40 a.m., on September 10th, Saratoga Springs Police officers Matt Schauerhamer and Nicholas Judson were dispatched to an area near Redwood Road and State Route 73. A 9-1-1 caller had reported a suspicious man wielding a samurai sword. According to an investigation by the Utah County Attorney’s office, officers arrived at the scene to find Darrien Hunt.

At a press conference Monday in Provo, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said, the exchange between the officers and Hunt escalated quickly.  The officers asked Hunt what he was doing and said they even offered him a ride, but requested he put down the sword.  Without provocation, Hunt allegedly lunged at the officers with the blade. What ensued, Buhman says, was a foot chase that ended in Hunt collapsing as a result of six gunshots to the back, shoulder and arm.

“Their belief that deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury was reasonable given the fact that mister hunt was swinging or stabbing at them with a three-foot sword and was in close enough proximity to them that one of the officers at least physically retreated and apparently one jumped back in order to avoid being hit by that sword blade,” Buhman says.

Hundreds of witnesses were interviewed during the investigation but Buhman says the findings were based on the testimonies of five people, including officers Schauerhamer and Judson.

Hunt’s family and their Attorney Bob Sykes dispute the claim that Hunt lunged at the officers. They plan to file a lawsuit against the Saratoga Springs Police Department. 

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.
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.