Police chief says officer drew gun instead of taser, shooting was mistake

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Police Chief Tim Gannon said the officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright over the weekend mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of her taser and that the shooting was accidental, The Hill reported.  

“It appeared to me, from the video, that the individual was trying to get back into his car to leave,” Gannon said in a press conference. “It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.”

A tragic scene

Body cam footage released to the press showed one officer shouting “Tase him!” several times as police tried to arrest Wright and he tried to get back into his car. The officer then drew her gun and shot Wright.

She immediately yelled, “S—! I shot him” and dropped the gun, according to the footage.

After the shooting, Wright drove several blocks until his car crashed, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers discovered after stopping him that he had a warrant out for his arrest.

“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 the tragic death of Mr. Wright,” Gannon said.

Police chief overwhelmed

The police chief tried to step away from the podium during the press conference but was asked to take more questions. He seemed overwhelmed, but did his best to be thorough.

“I’m used to doing the handoff with the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)] and I apologize for that. Normally, the BCA steps in and they do a lot of the talk about the investigations. That’s what I’m used to,” Gannon said.

“Please realize in an officer-involved shooting what happens is I have no contact with that investigation because I don’t want to taint that investigation,” he went on.

The officer who shot Wright has been put on leave until the investigation is completed, and it seems likely that she will be fired over the incident.

Protests ensue

The incident has already led to Sunday night protests in the area, which is on edge because of the Derek Chauvin trial taking place 10 miles away. Several stores were damaged, and police used chemical irritants to disperse the crowd.

Wright’s mother Katie Wright urged protesters to remain peaceful when she spoke to reporters Sunday. “All the violence, if it keeps going, it’s only going to be about the violence. We need it to be about why my son got shot for no reason,” she said, according to The Associated Press.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said the shooting was “deeply tragic” and that the city would do “everything we can to ensure that justice is done and our communities are made whole.” Elliott also said President Joe Biden called him to offer support.

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15 Responses

    1. I am wondering why he had not been arrest way before now since there was a warrant out for his arrest….I’m wondering what was the warrant for…he was struggling to get away back in his car….this is a sad ….if this young man was White or Asian or Hispanic…it probably would not have made the news…that is a problem…I am sorry for the family but truth is truth…why did he not turn himself in when he knew about the warrant????????????????????

    2. If a police officer tells you to stop you stop. If the 20 year old had done what he was told he would still be alive. I also believe to hell with tasers. Shoot the lawbreakers if they try to run.

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  2. If I had my 9mm and my 380 s& w and the lights were out I could tell the deference and even know it’s loaded in the dark with a blind fold under pressure this cop maybe shouldn’t carry a firearm

  3. She mistook her taser for a pistol. Either the police woman is really stupid, or she thinks the rest of the world is stupid. The guy shouldn’t have run, but he didn’t deserve to be shot and killed. They (the police department) could have caught him later since they knew who he was, the make of car he was driving, and the license plate number. I’m surprised she didn’t say, “I didn’t know the gun was loaded.” People like her do not belong on any police department.

  4. The thug chose to be a fool and a criminal, no one made him do it. I had an extremely difficult childhood too AND I had life choices I had to make.
    Choices WE make for OURSELVES HAVE C O N S E Q UE N C E S.

  5. O.K. I am sure the officer did not intentionally shoot the victim, but I am just as sure that the officer should not have been working in that occupation. You would have to be completely confused or scared to death to not know if you had a taser or a pistol in your hand before you pulled the trigger. We need law enforcement that are able to think, not just react. A very preventable event is a tragedy to everyone concerned. The only thing good that can come of it is to learn to stop repeating the mistakes. Get rid of the unqualified people that do not use their heads before acting. Your mind is the best weapon you have, use it before you use something hanging on your belt.

  6. Once you are black, you seem to be the target of the police. And there always seems to be a reason why they are murdered, by mistake, wow.
    And to not know that a “taser” is not a gun, bit you are a police, wow again.

  7. If a police officer tells you to stop you stop. If the 20 year old had done what he was told he would still be alive. I also believe to hell with tasers. Shoot the lawbreakers if they try to run.

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