The mother of a 13-year-old autistic boy who was shot by Salt Lake City police said Monday that her son was ‘scared’ when authorities arrived to their home last week and that she thought he was dead because he’s so small.
Linden Cameren was shot multiple times by police who responded to his mother’s call for a crisis intervention team (CIT) when her son started suffering severe separation anxiety over her going back to work.
Golda Barton said that police told her CIT would ‘deescalate the situation using the most minimal force possible’ at her Glendale home.
Instead, Linden is now in a local hospital recovering from the multiple gunshot wounds. In an interview with East Idaho News, Barton demanded answers over how the situation was handled.
‘I just want to know why they would do such a thing. Like why, … why didn’t you do anything else, anything else,’ Barton questioned through tears.
She explained that Linden ‘was scared’ and ‘he was running’ but he wasn’t being violent ‘at all’ when police arrived.
Golda Barton (pictured) said through tears that her son, Linden Cameren, 13, who was shot by Salt Lake City police, was ‘scared’ when authorities arrived to their home last week
Linden (pictured at a local hospital) was shot several times by police on Friday night after his mother called for assistance in dealing with a psychiatric episode
Linden’s brother, Wesley, also spoke out about his sibling’s injuries.
‘He said he can’t feel any feeling in his left hand. From my understanding he got shot in both feet,’ Wesley told the news outlet.
‘So now we’ll never be able to do the things we used to do, like longboard and play video games together.’
Linden, who has Asperger’s, was shot within minutes of officers arriving to Barton’s home on Friday.
According to Barton, within less than five minutes of the police arriving she heard an officer shout at the boy ‘get on the ground,’ before several shots were fired.
She said the officers told her to wait outside while they entered the property and then soon after she heard the gunshots.
Barton said she thought her son was dead because the officers didn’t immediately say what had happened.
In a separate interview, Barton told KUTV: ‘I said, he’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming. He’s a kid he’s trying to get attention, he doesn’t know how to regulate.’
She added: ‘He’s a small child. Why didn’t you just tackle him? He’s a baby. He has mental issues.’
In addition, Barton said she heard one of the officers say to the other: ‘He’s just a child, what are you doing?’
Linden’s brother, Wesley (pictured), also spoke out about his sibling’s injuries. ‘He said he can’t feel any feeling in his left hand,’ Wesley said. ‘So now we’ll never be able to do the things we used to do, like longboard and play video games together’
On Tuesday, the Salt Lake City Police Department vowed to cooperate with multiple investigations following the shooting of Linden (pictured)
Linden remains in the hospital after suffering injuries to his shoulders, both ankles, intestines and bladder.
A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for Linden’s medical expenses. As of Tuesday night, it has raised more than $55,000.
Barton also revealed: ‘Linden said you know what mommy, they didn’t hurt me. I didn’t feel it. I’m a Superman.’
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement Sunday: ‘While the full details of this incident are yet to be released as an investigation takes place, I will say that I am thankful this young boy is alive and no one else was injured.
‘No matter the circumstances, what happened on Friday night is a tragedy and I expect this investigation to be handled swiftly and transparently for the sake of everyone involved.’
On Tuesday, the Salt Lake City Police Department vowed to cooperate with multiple investigations following the shooting.
In a statement, the department said that the officers were called to a home in Glendale, Utah, Friday night with a report of a boy who had threatened people with a weapon.
The boy reportedly ran and was shot by an officer after being pursued by police.
Police said that each time there is an shooting incident involving an officer, ‘a protocol team made up of officers from multiple agencies with no ties to the Salt Lake City Police Department conducts an independent investigation’.
‘We are cooperating fully with the protocol team assigned to this case,’ the statement reads.
The department added that the city’s ‘Civilian Review Board and our own Internal Affairs will also conduct parallel separate investigations’.
No weapon was found at the scene.
More details are expected to be released within 10 business days when police body camera footage is released, as required under a city ordinance.