CCTV footage of ‘cosplayer’ dressed as Samurai with real sword, police fatally shoot in back

Dramatic CCTV footage has emerged of the moment a man dressed as a samurai warrior and wielding a sword ran from police before he was fatally shot.

Darrien Hunt was shot dead by officers after he was spotted with the sword at a bustling shopping mall in Saratago Springs, Utah.

Now footage has been released that appears to show the 22-year-old ‘cosplayer’ sprinting away from officers in the moments before his death on September 10.

CCTV shows him running past a restaurant – quickly followed by police. In separate footage taken ahead of the chase, he can be seen walking past a convenience store carrying what appears to be the sword.
The shooting prompted accusations from Hunt’s family that he was treated differently because of his race and that his actions did not warrant deadly force. Hunt was black and the two officers are white.

Earlier this month Utah prosecutors announced that officers were justified in fatally shooting Hunt, who was wielding the sword as part of a Japanese anime costume.

Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said the two officers involved feared for their lives and the safety of others in the shopping area where the encounter occurred.

The Hunt family plan to file a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit, said attorney Bob Sykes, who has said that a jury would disagree with the finding that the shooting was justified.

The fatal encounter was triggered by somebody calling in a report of a suspicious person walking with a sword in Saratoga Springs, a city south of Salt Lake City.

Police Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson spotted Hunt and began having a normal conversation with him, Buhman said.

Hunt said he wanted a ride to a nearby city but when they asked him to give up his sword, he refused and his demeanor changed. That is when he swung the 3ft metal sword at them, Buhman claimed.

‘This happened so quickly, violently and without provocation the officers had to use what was most immediately available to them, which was their firearms,’ Buhman said.

He said the investigation uncovered no trace that race or ethnicity played a role in the incident.

The findings of the investigation were based on interviews with the officers involved and three witnesses, he said. Buhman said after Hunt was initially hit by gunfire, he fled and disobeyed orders to drop the sword.

‘It would have been a matter of seconds before he could have reached someone else,’ he said.

Sykes disputed that account, saying it was unlikely that Hunt was aggressive.

‘I think it’s a whitewash. I think it’s an exaggeration. I think they ignored good hard evidence to the contrary,’ he said.

The Hunt family hopes a lawsuit would bring changes in police training, he said.

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