Daunte Wright, the black man shot dead by a white police officer in Minneapolis, has been accused of being involved in two separate shooting incidents before he was killed.
The new allegations against the 20-year-old black man have emerged just two months after he was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center cop Kim Potter during an April traffic stop.
Potter, who resigned days after the shooting and is charged with second-degree manslaughter, allegedly mixed up her Taser and her handgun when she opened fire on Wright.
In the days after he was killed, it was revealed that Wright had a warrant out for his arrest and had previously appeared in court for attempted aggravated robbery charges after he allegedly choked and held a woman at gunpoint for $820 in 2019.
Now, allegations have surfaced in two different lawsuits filed against Wright’s estate that allege he was involved in the shooting of two men, including one that left the victim permanently disabled and another that occurred just three weeks before his death.
Wright was not charged in either shooting incident and police have not confirmed if he was a suspect in either case.
Daunte Wright, the black man shot dead by a white police officer in Minneapolis, has been accused of being involved in two separate shooting incidents before he was killed
The latest lawsuit was filed on Tuesday and alleges that Wright was one of two men involved in a carjacking on March 21 that left the victim, Joshua Hodges, with a gunshot wound to his leg.
Hodges allegedly recognized Wright because they had gone to the same middle school.
According to the lawsuit, Wright and the other man approached Hodges while he was sitting in his car.
The other man opened his car door and shot Hodges in the leg. Wright then leaned in and allegedly assaulted him before stealing the victim’s wallet and cellphone. Wright allegedly then also stole the victim’s car.
The lawsuit says Hodges spent two weeks in hospital recovering from his gunshot wound injuries.
The second lawsuit, which was filed last month, relates to the shooting of Caleb Livingston back in May 2019.
It alleges that Wright shot the then-teenager in the head and left him permanently disabled.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Livingston’s mother, Jennifer LeMay, who claims her son, who is now 18, was once friends with Wright.
The lawsuit alleges the pair had a ‘falling out’ that came to a head after her son beat up Wright in front of a group. Wright allegedly retaliated by shooting Livingston outside a gas station in Minneapolis.
The shooting is still an open investigation and no one has been charged.
The latest lawsuit was filed on Tuesday and alleges that Wright was one of two men involved in a carjacking on March 21 that left the victim, Joshua Hodges (pictured above), with a gunshot wound to his leg
The second lawsuit alleges that Wright shot Caleb Livingston (above) in the head and left him permanently disabled outside a Minneapolis gas station in May 2019
Livingston’s mother said her son spent 33 days in intensive care and had part of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain following shooting. He is pictured above in his wheelchair following the shooting
LeMay told the Star Tribune in a 2019 interview that her son spent 33 days in intensive care and had part of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain.
She said the medical costs had surpassed $545,000.
‘I didn’t ask for my child to be shot,’ LeMay said. ‘So I have literally liquidated everything that I have stored away for savings.’
The same lawyer, Michael Padden, is behind both lawsuits, which are each seeking $50,000 from Wright’s estate.
Wright was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center cop Kim Potter during an April traffic stop. Potter, who is charged with second-degree manslaughter, allegedly mixed up her Taser and her handgun when she opened fire
A statement from the lawyers representing Wright’s family, including civil rights attorney Ben Crump, slammed the new lawsuits.
‘Already grieving the loss of their loved one, is Daunte Wright’s family also expected to endure this character assassination on top of it?’ the statement, obtained by KARE11, reads.
‘The audacity of this attorney is disappointing, and we implore members of the community to not be drawn in by these opportunistic efforts to tear down Daunte and hurt his family.
‘Ploys like these aim to do one thing: distract. But our team will not be distracted in our fight for justice in this case and in our fight for justice for all marginalized communities.’
Padden, the attorney behind the two lawsuits, says he isn’t sure what his clients might be able to get from the legal action.
‘We don’t know. We’ll figure that out. We’ll see how it plays out,’ Padden said.
Speaking specifically about the latest lawsuit, Padden said: ‘But look, someone needs to answer for this. This kid was badly injured in a terrible crime, and it’s perfectly reasonable to issue a claim against one of the two individuals responsible.’
Police body cam footage of the fatal incident showed three officers approaching Daunte Wright’s car in Brooklyn Center after he had been pulled over for the traffic stop
Bodycam footage of the incident showed Potter firing her gun at Wright after shouting ‘Taser’
Details of Wright’s criminal history emerged in the days after his death, including that he had a warrant out for his arrest after he missed a court appearance on separate firearms charges at the time he was killed.
Wright was due to face trial on a charge of attempted aggravated robbery related to a December 2019 incident.
Charging papers say Wright and a second man, Emajay Driver, went to a home shared by two women in Osseo, Minnesota ‘to party’ in December 2019. At the time, Wright was 19 and Driver was 18.
Wright (pictured in his booking photo) was arrested on attempted aggravated robbery charges after allegedly holding a woman at gunpoint for $820 in December 2019
The women asked them to leave around 2.30 am on December 1 but they said they didn’t have a ride and the women – who are not identified in the court documents – allowed them to sleep on the floor.
In the morning, one of the women went to the bank to get her $820 rent money, which she gave to the other woman and then left for work.
As Wright, Driver and the second woman were leaving, Wright allegedly tried to hold up the woman and pulled out a black handgun.
He was accused of choking the woman as he grabbed the money.
Wright’s April 11 death sparked days of unrest in Minneapolis at a time when fired cop Derek Chauvin was standing trial for the murder of George Floyd.
He was shot and killed by police officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran in the Brooklyn Center Police Department, after he was pulled over for what police said were expired license plate tags.
Police said a struggle broke out when they tried to arrest Wright after running his name and realizing he had an outstanding warrant.
At the time, the city’s police chief described the shooting as ‘an accidental discharge’ and said Potter had mistakenly fired her gun instead of a taser.
Wright’s April 11 death sparked days of unrest in Minneapolis at a time when fired cop Derek Chauvin was standing trial for the murder of George Floyd. A number of high-profile Democratic lawmakers in Minnesota and activists attended Wright’s funeral
Bodycam footage of the incident showed Potter and two other officers approaching Wright’s car after he had been pulled over.
The footage showed one officer trying to handcuff Wright as a second officer told him he was being arrested on a warrant. Wright immediately jumped back into his car in an apparent attempt to flee.
A struggle then broke out between the officers and Wright, who was still sitting inside his car.
Potter could be heard shouting ‘Taser!’ several times in the moments before she fired her gun. Immediately after, Potter could be heard saying: ‘Holy sh*t. I shot him’.
Wright managed to drive several blocks before coming to a stop when he hit another car. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
His death has sparked several days of violent protests and unrest in the city that was already on edge because of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death.
A number of high-profile Democratic lawmakers in Minnesota later attended Wright’s funeral.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is leading the case against Potter, who is scheduled to go on trial on December 6. If convicted, she faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.