The Brooklyn Center Police Department released body camera footage on Monday from a shooting that happened on Sunday when Daunte Wright, 20, tried to run from law enforcement. Police said Monday that they believe the officer thought she was firing her taser when she shot the suspect.
The police department said in a press release that officers determined that the suspect had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Reporter Andy Ngo highlighted the alleged charges that Wright was wanted on, including running from law enforcement and a weapons charge.
“At one point as officers were attempting to take the driver into custody, the driver re-entered the vehicle. One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver,” police said. “The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle. Officers in pursuit and responding medical personnel attempted life saving measures, but the person died at the scene.”
Update: Here is body cam footage showing #DuanteWright trying to escape an arrest & getting shot by a female officer. He ended up crashing into another occupied car & dying. The @BPPD police chief says it appears the officer meant to use a taser but accidentally used her pistol. pic.twitter.com/B0v14RHint
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 12, 2021
The footage of the incident appeared to show the female officer yelling, “taser!” before discharging her firearm. Officials have not released the identity of the police officer, who has been placed on administrative leave.
“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department said. “This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
Following the incident on Sunday afternoon, hundreds of rioters attacked police cars and a police station while looters ravaged nearby businesses. The National Guard was later deployed to help stop the rioting in the city that was devastated by violent riots last year that cost well into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The suspect’s mother said that she was on the phone with him when the incident happened and that she heard police tell her son, “Daunte, don’t run.”
“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center,” Democrat Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted after the situation turned chaotic. “Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”
“Our entire community is filled with grief following today’s officer-involved shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20 year old young man,” Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said on Twitter. “Our hearts are with his family, and with all those in our community impacted by this tragedy. While we await additional information from the BCA who is leading the investigation, we continue to ask that members of our community gathering do so peacefully, amid our calls for transparency and accountability.”
The fact-finding website Heavy.com linked to a Facebook account that they claim belonged to the suspect. The account was filled with posts that included degrading remarks about women, joking about run from police, and joking about attacking police officers.