Golda Barton said that her son Linden Cameron, who has Asperger syndrome, experienced a “mental breakdown” earlier in the day. It had been her first day back at work in nearly a year, and Linden was having trouble coping, she confirmed to CNN in an email.
Barton also confirmed she called the police and asked for a crisis intervention team to help her manage the situation and get her son treatment.
When police arrived, Barton said her son ran away. She told KUTV that she heard someone yell “get down on the ground” three times, followed by several gunshots.
“Why didn’t they tase him? Why didn’t they shoot him with a rubber bullet?” Barton told the station. “He’s a small child. Why don’t you just tackle him? You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources.”
The boy fled and as police chased after him, one officer fired their weapon and struck the child, Horrocks said. Officers provided medical aid to the boy until medical personnel arrived, Horrocks said. He was then taken to a local hospital, according to police.
Linden’s injuries include damage to his shoulder, ankles, intestines, bladder and colon, as well as nerve damage, Barton told CNN.
It is not clear whether the boy actually had a weapon, or exactly what threats police were said to be responding to.
Barton told CNN her son was unarmed. Detective Greg Wilking, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Police Department, told CNN on Tuesday that he could not speak specifically to whether the boy had a weapon or “what the officers’ perceived threats were,” and that those questions would be determined by the investigation.
“Mom can say whatever she wants, but there’s this investigation that has to happen and this process that has to take place,” Wilking said.
The incident is being investigated by a team consisting primarily of officers from the West Valley City Police Department, according to Wilking. West Valley City is a suburb of Salt Lake City, both of which are part of Salt Lake County.
Once that investigation is complete, the information will be turned into the district attorney’s office, who will conduct their own investigation, Wilking said. The city also has a civilian review board that investigates complaints regarding police conduct.
“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.”