Article Lead Image

Surveillance video sheds light on police killing a black ‘cosplayer’

He was shot four times in the back.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Nov 25, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 3:17 am CDT

New surveillance camera video shows the moments surrounding the killing of Darrien Hunt, a 22-year-old who was shot four times in the back in September by police in a Utah mini-mall parking lot.

The video was released on Monday as protests broke out in Ferguson, Mo., after a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown.

Hunt was holding a fake anime sword as part of a costume after police responded to a complaint of a “suspicious individual” with a sword, Gawker reported. His outfit led some to speculate he was cosplaying, or costume playing, as a character from Samurai Champloo known as Mugen

However, as the Daily Dot reported at the time, based on photos released by the the Guardian and ABC, it’s likely the visual similarities were entirely coincidental. 

Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said Hunt “swung or stabbed it toward at least one of the officers.” Buhman said the officers were justified in their actions; they’ve since been reinstated.

The video does not show the moment of death or any stabbing by Buhman but it does show Hunt running away from police as they pursue him. They would go on to shoot him in the back four times.

“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,” Hunt’s family’s attorney, Robert Sykes, told local news.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated for clarity. 

H/T Gawker | Photo via exkarravelho/Flickr (CC BY SA 3.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 25, 2014, 9:57 pm CST