Darrien Hunt was shot to death by two police officers in Saratoga Springs, Utah, on Sept 10.
The 22-year-old African-American man, who was a fan of anime, was wearing a samurai costume and carrying a fake sword at the time.
Surveillance video footage (below) from a Walmart, convenience store and Panda Express restaurant was recently released and appears to contradict some of the claims made by authorities.
Saratoga Springs Police Officers Schauerhamer and Judson said they offered a Hunt a ride home, which he refused because they wanted him to take his sword off. The officers claimed that Hunt allegedly swung his plastic sword at them and fled. The officers chased Hunt and shot him.
Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman ruled earlier this month that the cops were justified in using deadly force because of the danger that they and the public faced.
The Salt Lake Tribune obtained the surveillance video footage (below) from the Utah County Attorney’s Office.
The first video, shot by a Walmart camera, shows Hunt calmly walking on a sidewalk. Moments later, a police officer walks by and tries to catch up with Hunt.
The second video, from inside a convenience store, documents a woman stating, "The cops are out there shooting a guy... He drew a sword."
A third video shows Hunt running past the Panda Express restaurant with Officers Schauerhamer and Judson in pursuit.
"It shows the peaceful nature of Darrien before this event took place, and non-threatening nature," Robert Sykes, a lawyer for Hunt’s mother, told The Salt Lake Tribune. "And it shows him running for his life."
“You can tell that this young man is running for his life, and he’s being fired at by a cop, and there’s no apparent reason for it,” Sykes told Fox 13.
The Guardian notes that Utah County Chief Deputy Attorney Tim Taylor originally stated, “When the officers made contact with Mr Hunt, he brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword, at which time Mr Hunt was shot.”
A few days later, Taylor told The Guardian that Hunt allegedly lunged at the officers outside a bank several dozen yards away from where he actually died.
Taylor said Hunt was shot several times by police before he collapsed outside the Panda Express.
However, for a seriously wounded man, Hunt seems to run amazingly fast outside the Panda Express. The video seems to strongly imply the officers couldn't keep up with him and fired their weapons outside the Panda Express.
“Whether or not the individual lunged again at point two, the other location [Panda Express], I don’t know about that,” stated Taylor.
“The shot that killed Darrien, which was straight in the back, did not have an exit wound,” Randall Edwards, an attorney for Hunt’s family, told The Guardian. “It raises the question as to how you can lunge at someone and be shot in the back at the same time.”