Utah Police Shot Autistic Boy, 13, After Mom Called 911 for Help

Utah police are conducting an investigation after officers shot a 13-year-old boy with autism whose mother had called 911 for help.

What We Know:

  • Golda Barton spoke to KUTV and said she dialed 911 requesting help for her son, Linden Cameron, who has Autism Asperger’s syndrome. He was having an episode at the time that was triggered by “bad separation anxiety” as his mother returned to work for the first time in more than a year.

  • Barton stated that she told police her son was unarmed, he did not have anything on him, and that his reaction of kicking and screaming is due to her son being upset. She also mentioned that officers are supposed to come out and de-escalate a situation using the most minimal force possible. Police stated that no weapons were found at the scene.
  • She witnessed two officers entering through the front door of the home and in less than five minutes they were yelling, “get down on the ground”.
  • That is when Salt Lake City police officials repeatedly shot Linden Cameron after he was trying to run away, leaving the boy in critical condition with injuries sustained to his shoulder, intestines, bladder, and ankles.
  • Her son was handcuffed after being shot, and officers couldn’t tell her whether he was dead. She said she still doesn’t understand why officers would shoot him.
  • Local autism advocates also criticized the shooting and cried out for changes to how police handle mental health crises. A GoFundme page has been created and has raised $12,000 to pay Cameron’s medical bills so far.

Salt Lake City Police SGT. Keith Horrocks stated this shooting will be investigated by police. Erin Mendenhall, Salt Lake City Mayor, said she expects the investigation “to be handled swiftly and transparently” in a statement released to local media Sunday.