Daunte Wright 'shot one man in head and attacked another in carjacking' before being killed by cop in Taser mix-up
DAUNTE Wright allegedly shot a former friend in the head leaving him in a vegetative state and attacked another man in a carjacking before he was killed by a cop in a Taser mix-up.
The accusations were made in two lawsuits filed against the 20-year-old father's estate in the past month.
Wright was shot dead by Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter in a traffic stop in April after she allegedly mistook her gun for her taser.
His death sparked weeks of protests in Minneapolis where the trial was underway for white ex-cop Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of George Floyd’s death last year.
Yet two new lawsuits have claimed that Wright was involved in previous shootings, one just three weeks before his death.
Wright has not been charged in either of the cases, which are both still under investigation, and the Minneapolis Police Department will not confirm if he is a suspect, KARE reports.
The lawsuits are seeking $50,000 in damages from Wright’s estate after the two male victims faced high medical bills.
Attorney Mike Padden is representing both victims.
He filed the first lawsuit on May 4 on behalf of the family of Caleb JaChin Duane Livingston, who are no longer live in Minnesota.
It claims Wright shot Livingston in the head in May 2019 leaving him permanently brain-damaged.
The victim's mom, Jennifer LeMay, claims they used to be friends but had a “fallout” and Livingston beat up Wright in front of a group of people, according to the suit.
It claims Wright retaliated by shooting Livingston, who is now 18, outside a Minneapolis gas station while he was visiting from Illinois.
The family claims that the teen is now “alive but has no function” after suffering "serious, disabling, and permanent injuries."
He spent 33 days in the hospital, LeMay told the Minnesota Star Tribune, and had a large part of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his swollen brain.
Livingston’s family was forced to fight with their insurance company over who would pay after the bill which totaled more than $45,000.
"I didn't ask for my child to be shot," LeMay said at the time, explaining that her son has been diagnosed as having unresponsive wakefulness syndrome and can not look after his own basic needs.
"So I have literally liquidated everything that I have stored away for savings."
Padden claims that there is a “plethora” of evidence that Wright is the suspect in the shooting despite him not facing any criminal charges.
The suit alleges that Wright was a member of a gang and had significant criminal history beginning at the age of 12.
It points to alleged pictures of Wright on social media in which he holds a Smith & Wesson 9-millimeter handgun
Padden filed a second lawsuit on Tuesday on behalf of Joshua Hodges, who claims Wright was involved in a carjacking on March 21 where he was shot in the leg.
Hodges, 20, says another man opened his car door and fired before Wright assaulted him and took his car.
Padden claims that the victim spent two weeks in hospital and continues to suffer pain and permanent injuries.
"Hit an artery, bled horribly. Could have died," Padden told KARE.
Hodges says that he recognized Wright as they were in middle school together.
Wright’s family could be awarded a hefty settlement from Brooklyn Center for his death.
Yet the victims in the suits against his estate would not be able to access this money.
"We don't know. We'll figure that out. We'll see how it plays out," Padden said of the damages.
"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."
Wright’s family’s legal team has fired back at the lawsuits, accusing them of being an attempt at “character assassination.”
“Already grieving the loss of their loved one, is Daunte Wright’s family also expected to endure this character assassination on top of it?” attorney Ben Crump told KARE.
“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."
Crump is the same lawyer who won George Floyd’s family a $27million settlement from Minneapolis.
Potter is charged with second-degree manslaughter for Wright’s death.
She resigned after 26 years on the force days after the shooting as protests erupted across the US.
It was previously revealed that Wright had a warrant out for his arrest at the time of his death which led to the fatal traffic stop.
It stemmed from an incident in June 2020 when Wright was reportedly carrying a pistol without a permit and ran from police.
The complaint was filed on March 4 and he was due to appear in court on April 2.
Yet a warrant was then fled for his arrest suggesting he did not show up.
He was killed just over a week later.
Wright had also previously been charged with attempted aggravated robbery for allegedly choking a woman and holding her at gunpoint for $820 in December 2019.
He was set to appear on trial in August after pleading not guilty and being released on bail in March 2020.
His bail was revoked in July for possession of a firearm and failing to contact his probation officer but was bonded out again in September.
Potter’s trial is scheduled to begin in December.
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