Salt Lake City, UT – On January 12, Saturday night, at around 8:09 p.m., three men broke into a home in the 400 blk of Star Crest Drive. The homeowner hid in the bathroom while the men ransacked her home looking for drugs. She tried to call 911 on her cell phone, but couldn’t get through, so she called a friend for help. That friend was US Marine Veteran Mason Hunt.
The men at first left the residence after not finding what they were looking for, but returned after deciding to steal the homeowner’s car. By then, Mason had arrived and confronted the trio. One of them hit him in the back of the head with a rifle, and then shot him.
Mason Hunt, who survived deployment to a combat zone, succumbed to his injuries.
According to a friend of Mason, Jesus Garcia, he served with the 3rd battalion, 7th Marines, Kilo company, weapons platoon. “He was a mortar man. He deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan in 2013, and was a section leader for the mortars section. He deployed to al -Assad, Iraq in 2015 for Operation Inherent Resolve. He was a natural born leader who was always there for his Marines. He was a quiet Marine who had a great character. Always approachable regardless of the situation. Humble person.”
According to Mason’s girlfriend, his awards included: “National Defense Medal, Global War On Terrorism Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.”
She told us that he had been part of OEF 13-2 and OIR 15-2, and was Mortars section leader from 2014- 2016. She stated in an email to us:
Colton Beed, 20, was arrested that first night. A juvenile named Nathan Amaton, 16 and another adult, Chase Chavira, 20, were arrested later.
Court documents state that at approximately 8:09 p.m., Beed met with other individuals including Chavira, while planning on burglarizing a residence at near the 400 North block of Starcrest Drive.
According to the probable cause statement, Beed used his personal vehicle to drive him and the others to the burglary, and other parties drove to the same area in a blue truck.
Chavira is accused of remaining in the passenger seat of a sedan and acted as lookout as others, who were armed with guns and wearing ski masks, broke into the side door of the home.
Beed allegedly is among those who wore ski masks to conceal their identities while the others were placed in charge of carrying firearms and be lookouts.
According to court documents, when Mason arrived, he placed one of the suspects in a headlock. As the struggle ensued, one of the other suspects hit Hunt in the head with a rifle and shot him. The rifle was recovered under Amaton’s mattress. Police also found a handgun in the residence – they learned it was stolen in 2018.
Beed was charged with one count of murder, two counts of aggravated burglary, and one count of obstruction of justice, for attempting to destroy evidence. Chavira was charged with murder and two counts of aggravated burglary. Amaton will be charged as an adult.
For some reason, the regular news media didn’t bother to check this Marine’s service or background at all. The only thing they focused on were the suspects, which is sad in and of itself. A Marine that was valued by his friends should be at least written about in a way that revealed his heroic actions. Rest in Peace and Semper Fi, Mason Hunt.