Police killing of Daunte Wright: Here's what we know so far

Brooklyn Center police fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday, April 11.
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Updated at 1 p.m. Monday, April 12.

Brooklyn Center police fatally shot a man following a traffic stop Sunday afternoon.

Details surrounding what happened are still being released, but here's what we know and don't know thus far:

What we know

Police fatally shot a Black man whose family has identified as 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

The shooting happened during a traffic stop in the area of the 6300 block of Orchard Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. on April 11. Wright was able to drive for "several more blocks" before crashing, and died at the scene.

Police were wearing body cameras that recorded the incident. Video was played during a news conference Monday, in which Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said the female officer yells "Taser! Taser!" and then pulled her gun, shooting Wright with a single bullet before saying, "Oh shit, I just shot him."

Related [April 12]: Officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright meant to use Taser, pulled gun by mistake

A female passenger who was in the vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the incident.

The officers involved are on administrative leave. The mayor approves of the firing of the female officer who fired her gun.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the shooting. The ACLU of Minnesota is calling for the swift release of body camera footage, and for an independent investigation to be conducted by an outside agency — neither the Brooklyn Center PD nor the BCA.

Activists are demanding justice for Wright, prompting protests and civil unrest Sunday night in Brooklyn Center and surrounding areas. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott has called for peaceful protests as the shooting is investigated.

Meanwhile, more law enforcement officials, including National Guard members, are being deployed across the Twin Cities metro.

What we don't know

There is still much that is not known or is unconfirmed about what happened Sunday afternoon.

— Police haven't shared details on the warrant Wright had that prompted the attempted arrest.

— We don't yet know how Wright's passenger came to be injured, her current condition, and whether she has any video of the incident.

— The officers involved in the shooting have not been identified other than police saying the officer who fired her weapon is a "very senior officer." 

What Wright's family say happened

Wright's family members said Sunday afternoon that Wright was driving to get his new car washed when he was pulled over.

When he was being pulled over, he called his mom, Katie Wright, who said she could hear scuffling and then someone saying "Daunte, don't run" before the call ended, the Star Tribune reports.

She called back and her son's girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car, told her Daunte had been shot. 

Wright's family say they had heard he was stopped because he had an air freshener dangling from his rear-view mirror, MPR News says. Police say he was stopped due to expired tabs.

What police say happened

Brooklyn Center police officers initiated the traffic stop for a "traffic violation" and then determined the driver had an "outstanding warrant," a news release on Sunday said.

On Monday, Chief Gannon said he was pulled over for expired tabs and then an officer saw something hanging from his rearview mirror. Then, the officer ran his name through the system and found he had a warrant.

"I have very little information on the warrant, other than it was a gross misdemeanor warrant," Gannon said.

According to KARE 11 reporter Chris Hrapsky, Daunte Wright had an outstanding warrant for gross misdemeanor carrying a pistol without a permit and misdemeanor fleeing police. The warrant was issued on April 2 after he failed to appear for court, Hrapsky said. 

When the officers tried to take Wright into custody, he "re-entered the vehicle." That's when "one officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver," police said in Sunday's news release. 

During Monday's news conference, Gannon said the officer intended to use her Taser, likely because Wright was getting back into the vehicle, and grabbed her gun instead, calling the incident an "accidental shooting."

Wright's vehicle then traveled several blocks before hitting another vehicle, police said. The people inside were not injured.

In the vehicle with Wright was a female passenger who suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.

No weapon was found inside Wright's vehicle.

Note: Some of the details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

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