Daunte Wright: Doting dad, basket participant


Daunte Wright turned a father whereas he was nonetheless a youngster, and appeared to relish the function of a doting younger dad, his household and mates stated.

A household picture reveals a beaming Wright holding his son, Daunte Jr., at his first party. One other reveals Wright, sporting a COVID-19 face masks and his son sporting a bib with the inscription, “ALWAYS HUNGRY.”

Wright, 20, was fatally shot Sunday by a police officer within the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Middle. As protesters and civil rights advocates known as for justice and police accountability over his demise, his household requested folks to additionally keep in mind his life.

“He had a 2-year-old son that’s not going to have the ability to play basketball with him. He had sisters and brothers that he cherished a lot,” his mom, Katie Wright, stated Tuesday on “Good Morning America.”

His aunt, Naisha Wright, stated he was “a lovable younger man.”

“His smile — oh, Lord — probably the most stunning smile,” she stated.

An older cousin, Mario Greer, stated he and Wright cherished seeing one another on holidays, particularly on the Fourth of July, once they favored to shoot off Roman candles collectively.

Wright attended three completely different excessive faculties, together with Edison Excessive Faculty in Minneapolis, the place he was voted “class clown” as a freshman.

Jonathan Mason, who labored as a youth growth specialist and mentor on the college, stated Wright was a gregarious, well-liked scholar who had many mates.

“He was a charismatic child. He would joke with you, and he was so witty,” Mason stated. “He was a kind of children that everyone appeared as much as.”

Wright performed on the freshman and junior varsity basketball groups, and was identified for having an excellent left-hand shot, Mason stated.

Throughout mentoring classes, Wright would speak about what he hoped to do together with his life, Mason stated.

“He stated, ‘I need to be an NBA participant, I need to be a clothier, I need to be a enterprise proprietor,’ ” Mason recalled. “I stated, ‘In case you develop up, you might be no matter you need to be.’”

The 2 additionally talked about how Black males ought to behave throughout encounters with police, due to the historical past of Black Individuals being shot by police throughout site visitors stops and different encounters.

“I talked about in the event that they pull you over, ensure your fingers are on the highest of the steering wheel, don’t attain for something,” Mason stated.

“He would at all times say, ‘Man, why we gotta do all that only for folks to not kill us?’ ”

Wright moved to Patrick Henry Excessive Faculty in Minneapolis in 2018, the place his sister can also be a scholar. Principal Yusuf Abdullah stated he left after one semester after which went to Stadium View Faculty.

“We bought to know Daunte rather well by his sister. Many workers labored with him by the years, making an attempt to construct a relationship with him, join with him,” Abdullah stated.

He stated Daunte wasn’t a tough child, however had among the typical problems with youngsters: “A troubled life? No. I believe simply alongside the strains of a teenage life.” He wouldn’t elaborate.

“He was an excellent child — excitable,” he stated.

Police have described the taking pictures of Wright as “an unintentional discharge” that occurred as officers have been making an attempt to arrest Wright on an impressive warrant after stopping his automotive for having expired registration tags. Wright’s mom stated he known as her simply earlier than he was shot and instructed her police had pulled him over as a result of he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror.

Police stated the officer who shot Wright meant to make use of her Taser on him, however as a substitute shot him together with her service weapon. A prosecutor stated Wednesday he charged the officer with second-degree manslaughter,

Police physique digicam footage confirmed three officers across the automotive. When one other officer makes an attempt to handcuff Wright, a second officer tells him he’s being arrested on a warrant. That’s when a battle begins, adopted by the taking pictures. Then the automotive travels a number of blocks earlier than hanging one other automobile.

In line with courtroom data, Wright was being wanted failing to seem in courtroom on prices that he fled from officers and possessed a gun with out a allow throughout an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.

A search of courtroom data reveals Wright had a minor legal file, with petty misdemeanor convictions for possession/sale of a small quantity of marijuana and disorderly conduct.

After he was killed Sunday, his household realized of a connection between Wright and George Floyd, the Black man whose demise underneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer almost a 12 months in the past sparked nationwide protests. Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, stated she labored with Wright whereas he was a scholar at Edison Excessive Faculty. Ross was a trainer’s assistant and counselor on the college, stated Mason, who labored with Ross.

”(I’m) crushed. It’s sufficient that Floyd is gone, however for one in every of my youths to be gone as effectively,” Ross stated Tuesday throughout a protest in opposition to police brutality in Minneapolis.

“He was only a great, stunning boy,” Ross stated.


AP author Tim Sullivan in Minneapolis; Kat Stafford in Detroit; and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner additionally contributed to this report.

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