Utah family speaks out after police shooting involving 13-year-old boy with autism
Tania Dean, KSL TV
Published at | Updated at
His mother, Golda Barton, said the boy was shot multiple times while he was running from officers.
However, officials with the Salt Lake City Police Department haven’t released those details because it’s part of the ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, 13-year-old Linden Cameren was at Primary Children’s Hospital while his mother and brother demanded answers.
“I just want to know why they would do such a thing. Like why, … why didn’t you do anything else, anything else,” Barton said.
Barton was emotional and upset Monday, three days after she said her son was shot by police.
Cameren’s brother felt the same.
“He said he can’t feel any feeling in his left hand. From my understanding he got shot in both feet,” Wesley Cameren said. “So now we’ll never be able to do the things we used to do, like longboard and play video games together.”
Barton said Linden has autism and was previously diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. On Friday night, he started having an emotional episode while she was at work.
She drove home and said she called 911 and asked for a CIT officer to come help. That’s an officer with specialized training dealing with mental illness.
“I explained to them he’s upset. He’s having an episode he needs to go to the hospital,” said Barton.
Barton said when officers knocked on her door, her son got scared and ran.
She didn’t see what happened next, but said she heard it.
“I heard the guns and the yelling and the guns, and then I sat there in my car for what felt like a long time and I was waiting for someone to walk over to me because I didn’t know what just happened,” said an emotional Barton. “And I was like OK, um, OK … they just unloaded a whole clip in my son, and probably he’s dead because he’s so small.”
Because the case is still under investigation, Salt Lake City police will not say how many rounds were fired or how many times the boy was hit.
They are also not saying whether or not he was carrying a weapon, although they said the initial call for help indicated that Linden was threatening others with a weapon.
Barton said he wasn’t.
“Was Linden being violent to police officers?” asked reporter Tania Dean.
“No, not at all. He was scared he was running,” answered Barton.
“Did he have a weapon?” Dean asked.
“No, not at all,” said Barton.
Salt Lake City police said they likely can’t give any information about the incident for two more weeks, when the body camera footage will be released.
However, Linden’s family wants answers now.
“Linden said you know what mommy, they didn’t hurt me. I didn’t feel it. I’m a Superman,” said Barton.
Salt Lake police did say all of their officers are CIT trained, so the officers that arrived at the house would have had experience dealing with mental illness.