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Susan Hunt's emotions were still raw Tuesday as she told a room full of reporters her reaction to reading the official autopsy report on her son, Darrien Hunt, who was shot and killed last month by two Saratoga Springs police officers.
"What really upset me people are trying to justify killing my son," the woman said between sobs. "[Saying] he had to have been drunk or he had to have been on drugs, so that means a cop can kill him. But he wasn't! He didn't do anything wrong."
The report from the state Office of the Medical Examiner concluded that the 22-year-old sword-carrying man died Sept. 10 of multiple gunshots fired from behind.
Hunt family attorney Robert Sykes, who made the report public Tuesday, said it shows that Darrien Hunt was running away from police, and not lunging toward them when shots were fired, as the Utah County attorney's office has said.
"You can't use deadly force on a fleeing suspect unless there is an immediate risk of harm serious bodily harm or death to police or others nearby," Sykes said at a Tuesday news conference. "He's running from the police. They can't have been in any legitimate fear that he was going to harm them. They chased him and had an old-fashioned shootout on an innocent boy who had probably done nothing."
Sykes said he is still gathering information about the fatal shooting, but he stressed that they have found no evidence that Hunt was being violent that day. Even if Hunt had lunged at officers, like police have said, Sykes said the officers still were not justified in using deadly force.
"We believe this was excessive force by these officers," he said.
The findings of Utah medical examiner Pamela Ulmer were similar to a private autopsy done for the family that was released earlier this month, according to Sykes.
The medical examiner concluded that Hunt's cause of death was "multiple gunshots" with the direction of fire being "posterior to anterior," or from back to front.
Ulmer identified six gunshots in all, one penetrating Hunt's right back and lodging in his lung, while other bullets struck him in the right upper arm, right forearm, left upper arm, left elbow and left hip.
Ulmer also found no traces of drugs in Hunt's blood. Police had indicated that Hunt was known to have previously used hallucinogens and had used acid several weeks before, according to the report.
Sykes said he did not know where the police got that information, but added it wasn't relevant to the shooting.
"I don't know if he was an occasional drug user or not," Sykes said. "A lot of kids are at that age. Did Darrien ever use drugs? I don't know. But what's important is not what he did three weeks ago. What is important is what his situation was on the day of the event."
At the news conference, Sykes showed a picture taken by a witness before the shooting in which the sword is strapped to Hunt's back. "No indication he's a threat," Sykes said.
The lawyer also pointed to a police report that says Hunt was "wielding" the sword. "That's not true," he said.
Another photo shows Hunt looking calm, a slight smile on his face standing next to a Saratoga Springs police car, the sword still sheathed.
Hunt's relatives have said the sword, which they call a "katana," was a toy. It was metal, but had a rounded blade that would not cut, they said.
Deputy Utah County Attorney Tim Taylor declined comment on the report, which he had just begun to review Monday morning.
"I'm literally just opening it," Taylor said. "We'll review it, meet with the investigators and talk about it, look at the statutes and the county attorney will make a decision" on what, if any charges are filed.
Taylor said that decision likely would come within the next five to seven days.
Saratoga Springs officials declined to comment Tuesday, saying they are waiting to receive the final report from the county attorney's office.
Events on the morning of Sept. 10, began when a 911 caller reported seeing a man walking with a samurai-style sword near Wal-Mart at Redwood Road and State Road 73.
Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson confronted Hunt at an adjacent shopping area.
More details on that confrontation which actually involved three separate shooting scenes was revealed in the official autopsy report.
The report includes a narrative of the shooting based on information from Utah County attorney's office investigators Greg Knapp and Mark Dell'Ergo indicating that the two officers located Hunt on the west side of a Top Stop store.
At about 9:45 a.m., the first officer exited his vehicle and Hunt "charged him swinging the sword," according to the autopsy report.
"Three shots were fired at the decedent upon the initial contact," the report states.
Hunt then ran between the Top Stop and the Panda Express restaurant, pursued by officers.
One more shot was fired on the east side of the Panda Express.
Hunt then ran to the north side of the restaurant, where three more shots were fired, the report states. Hunt collapsed at the northwest corner of the restaurant, the report states, adding that he was declared dead by medical personnel, who arrived at 9:54 a.m.
Sykes has said he asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the shooting. Susan Hunt has said she plans to file a wrongful-death suit against the Saratoga Springs Police Department.
She said Tuesday that she hopes the officers involved "will never hold a gun again."
"I hope they are held accountable," she said. "Like we would have been held accountable. I wouldn't have gotten administrative leave if I had killed somebody. I think it should go both ways. There should be accountability."
Sykes said they hope that if any other witnesses saw the shooting, they will come forward to help give a more complete picture of what happened that day.
The shooting of Hunt, who was biracial, has received national media attention amid controversy over the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and other black civilians elsewhere.
Hunt's relatives have said Hunt was cosplaying, or costumed role-playing, and pointed to similarities between his apparel that day and that of the character Mugen from the popular anime series "Samurai Champloo."
Hunt's sketchbooks of Manga-style drawings were displayed at his funeral.