MINNEAPOLIS — Unrest was unfolding Sunday night on the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota following a deadly police involved shooting.
Around 2:00 p.m. local time, cops initiated a traffic stop in the 6300 block of Orchard Avenue (near Minneapolis). Police say the driver was wanted on an ‘outstanding warrant’ and tried to drive away as officers placed him under arrest. That’s when he was fatally shot.
The mother of the driver who was killed, Katie Wright, identified her son as 20-year-old Daunte Wright. She told local media that Daunte’s girlfriend was in the car at the time of the shooting.
“He called me at about 1:40, said he was getting pulled over by the police,” the woman said. “He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror.”
“I heard scuffling, and I heard the police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run,’ and then the other officer said, ‘Put the phone down’ and hung it up,” the distraught mother said. “Like a minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered — she was the passenger — and said that he’d been shot, and she put it on the driver’s side and my son was laying there lifeless.”
The mother of Daunte Wright speaks on what happened to her 20 year old son this afternoon in Brooklyn Center, MN. pic.twitter.com/Kcepf3mGml
— Alice (Al gal, your pal) (@itsnotfunny) April 12, 2021
Shortly after the shooting, protesters began to gather at the scene and the situation quickly escalated.
Activists jumped on cop cars and as night fell, officers in riot gear attempted to gain control of the situation.
Two squad car windshields smashed. pic.twitter.com/abRGOtdAFa
— Kim Hyatt (@kimvhyatt) April 12, 2021
— Nina Moini (@ninamoini) April 12, 2021
The Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, wrote on Twitter that he “mourns another life of a black man taken by law enforcement.”
“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center,” Walz said. “Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”
I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center. Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 12, 2021
Here’s what police say happened:
Brooklyn Center Police Department officers initiated a stop for a traffic violation in the area of the 6300 block of Orchard Ave. in Brooklyn Center shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday.
Officers determined that the driver of the vehicle had an outstanding warrant. At one point as officers were attempting to take the driver into custody, the driver re-entered the vehicle.
One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver. The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle.
Officers in pursuit and responding medical personnel attempted life saving measures, but the person died at the scene. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the person’s name following a preliminary autopsy and family notification.
A female passenger in the vehicle sustained non-life threatening injuries during the crash. She was transported to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.
Occupants of the vehicle that was struck during the crash were uninjured.
Brooklyn Center officers wear body-worn cameras. We believe both body-worn cameras and dash cameras were activated during this incident.
Police did not say if a weapon was located in the car. Nor did they elaborate on the ‘outstanding warrant.’
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal apprehension is investigating the shooting.