Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said Monday that the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by veteran police office Kim Potter was a mistake. According to the Associated Press, Potter told investigators that she intended to use her taser but fired her gun instead, fatally wounding Wright.
“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said Monday, according to Yahoo News. “This appears to me, from what I’ve viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
The incident took place Sunday during a traffic stop. Wright called his mother and told her that he was being pulled over for having air fresheners dangling from his rearview mirror — a traffic violation in Minnesota; however, according to NBC News, he was stopped for driving with expired plates. Whatever the reason, the encounter took a tragic and deadly turn. In body camera footage, Potter can be heard yelling “Taser! Taser! Taser!” before Wright firing her weapon. Afterward, she can be heard saying, “Holy s***, I just shot him.”
Potter has been a police officer in Minnesota since 1995, according to the Star Tribune. Since the shooting of Wright, protestors have repeatedly assembled outside of the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters. The National Guard has since been activated in the area.
Wright’s family rejects claims that the fatal shooting of their loved one was accidental.
“I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice,” Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, said during an appearance on “Good Morning America.” “But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did.”
Both Chief Gannon and Potter resigned Tuesday, according to USA Today.