"This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officers' reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright," Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters.
Police in the Minneapolis suburb attempted to arrest Daunte Wright on Sunday following a traffic stop due to an expired vehicle registration.
Video footage presented at a news briefing on Monday showed a struggle between Wright and officers. Wright then got back into the car and an officer could be heard yelling "Taser, Taser, Taser."
Gannon told reporters that is what police are trained to say before they deploy the nonlethal weapon.
On the video, the officer can be seen with a pistol, not a taser, in hand. After firing the gun, an officer can be heard to say, "shit, I just shot him."
"It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet," Gannon said.
Gannon told reporters the officer who fired the fatal shot has been placed on administrative duties and the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was investigating Wright's death.
The shooting triggered unrest in Brooklyn Center, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse angry protesters who kept to the streets into the early Monday morning hours.