Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the officer-involved shooting that led to the death of Daunte Wright as an “accidental discharge” during a Monday press conference.
Gannon played partial body-camera video from the Sunday incident, which shows a female officer threatening to deploy her Taser and expressing distress after shooting Wright, who was pulled over for a traffic violation around 2 p.m. Sunday.
Police discovered that Wright had an outstanding warrant and attempted to place him in handcuffs. At this point, the video shows Wright jumping back into his vehicle and fighting with the responding officers.
“I’ll tase you. Taser! Taser! Taser!” a female officer says in the video before discharging her weapon.
“Oh shit, I just shot him,” she then appears to say as Wright drives away from the scene. He travelled several city blocks before crashing into another vehicle and dying, police said.
BREAKING: Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon describes the officer involved shooting that led to the death of Daunte Wright as an “accidental discharge” and says he believes the officer intended to fire her taser. (Warning: Graphic content) pic.twitter.com/SNIHpF8Bu7
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) April 12, 2021
Gannon said officers are trained to wear their handguns on their “dominant side” and their Tasers on their “weak side.”
“During this encounter, however, the officer drew their handgun instead of their Taser,” he continued. “As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet. 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.”
The name of the officer has not yet been released.
Mayor Mike Elliott said he supports firing the officer involved in the incident, but the authority to do so rests with the city manager and council.
Wright’s death sparked a night of rioting and looting in the Minneapolis suburb. His death comes as the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin enters its third week. Chauvin is accused of murdering George Floyd last summer in an incident that sparked the worst riots in Minneapolis history.