- The man who was shot dead by police on Sunday was kind, liked basketball and had a tight-knit family, his family said in media interviews.
- Daunte Wright loved playing basketball with his 2-year-old son.
- He was pulled over for what police said was an expired registration and one officer mistakenly used her pistol instead of her taser.
Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in a Minneapolis suburb during a traffic stop on Sunday, was kind, liked basketball and had a tight-knit family, according to media interviews with his relatives.
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told ABC News on Tuesday that her son was an “amazing, loving kid” who “had a big heart,” loved his sisters and brothers and enjoyed playing basketball with his young son.
“He had a 2-year-old son that’s not going to be able to play basketball with him,” the mother said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“He just had his whole life taken away from him. We had our hearts pulled out of our chests. He was my baby.”
Wright was shot on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, after being pulled over for what police said was an expired car registration. Officers then discovered there was a warrant out for Wright’s arrest, and one officer mistakenly used her pistol instead of her Taser during a struggle with Wright, Brooklyn Center’s police chief told a news briefing on Monday.
Wright’s death ignited two consecutive nights of unrest in Brooklyn Center, with hundreds of protesters clashing with law enforcement outside the city’s police headquarters on Monday in defiance of a curfew ordered by Governor Tim Walz.
The region had already been on edge for weeks with the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, taking place just a few miles away from where the shooting of Wright occurred.
During a memorial vigil on Monday evening at the spot where Wright was killed, relatives remembered him as a good-natured father who worked multiple jobs to support his son.
“My brother lost his life because they were trigger happy,” his older half-sibling, Dallas Wright, told the crowd.
Wright’s aunt, Naisha Wright, told CNN late on Tuesday evening that she could not accept the explanation that the officer who fired the fatal shot, identified as 26-year department veteran Kim Potter, used her gun by mistake.
Speaking with CNN’s Don Lemon, she said her nephew’s family was tight, stressing that it was “not a broken home.”
“My nephew was a damn good kid. He loved his family. And we loved him,” the aunt said.