WEST BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4 News) – An officer pulled out a gun on a child who was mistaken for an “armed and dangerous” suspect involved in a manhunt Thursday afternoon, police said.
“What emotions were going through your head,” ABC4’s Brittany Johnson asked DJ Hrubes.
“Scared. Nervous,” the 10-year-old replied.
DJ was playing in the front yard of his home when an officer with the Wood Cross Police Department reportedly approached him, drew his gun and yelled for him to “get on the ground.”
“I was so confused. I didn’t even know what was going on,” said DJ.
“I was screaming don’t shoot!” recalled Jerri, DJ’s mother.
Jerri says she heard the commotion and ran outside.
“I see a police officer holding my 10-year-old at gunpoint with a pistol at his head and I go flying out.”
“I thought I was going to die, or I thought I was going to jail and never coming back,” DJ said.
ABC4 News was given a description of the suspects involved in the manhunt. We were told multiple police agencies were looking for two Polynesian men with darker skin and average build.
Lt. Adam Osoro, Woods Cross Police Department, says the officer didn’t know DJ was a child.
“This kid doesn’t look 10. He looks to be older than 10 years old,” Osoro said.
“Looking back, did your officer do the right thing?” asked Johnson.
“Absolutely,” replied Osoro. “On a call like this, we already have shots fired and they’ve already taken violent actions against someone. We’re out here to protect the public and ourselves so we feel the officer did nothing wrong.”
Jerri believes the officer is “prejudice” and targeted her son because of the color of his skin.
“No child, without any explanation, should have a gun pointed to their head when they have nothing in their hands on they’re playing on the front yard. Is it a crime because you’re black and you’re playing on the front yard?”
Osoro says the officer was wearing a body camera at the time but it wasn’t turned on.