▶ Watch Video: Trial over George Floyd’s death, shooting of Daunte Wright are parallel tragedies for Minnesota

“I never thought in a million years that this would happen,” Chyna Whitaker, the mother of Daunte Wright’s 2-year-old son, said in a news conference Friday. “I’m just really hurt for my son because he doesn’t have his father now.” 

Whitaker said she is still processing Wright’s death after he was shot and killed by a police officer on Sunday. “It’s kind of stressful on me because I really don’t want to do this by myself,” she said.

Ex-officer Kim Potter, 48, fatally shot Wright during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis. Police pulled him over for driving with expired tags and discovered he also had an outstanding warrant. While police attempted to handcuff Wright, he allegedly jumped into his car. Potter thought she had grabbed her Taser, but instead pulled her pistol which she used to fatally shoot Wright, officials said. 

Since her child’s father’s death, Whitaker said she and her family have received incoming support and donations. “It really means a lot to me,” she said. “It’s what’s keeping me together.”

Whitaker’s mother, Erica, described Wright as a “very good dad,” and explained that while her daughter and Wright were no longer together in a relationship at the time of his death, the two were successfully co-parenting their son, Daunte Wright Jr., together. She said Wright Sr. was “very involved with his son” and “very attentive.”

Wright Jr. was born prematurely and was what Whitaker’s mother described as a “miracle baby” and her only grandchild. “My focus is to make sure he’s OK, and that he is safe, and has a happy life, and that we have good memories to give him of his father,” she said. 

Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars. She is scheduled to make her next court appearance on May 17.

“I just want justice to be served,” Whitaker said.