*Alayna Albrecht-Payton had only been dating Daunte Wright for a few weeks and not made their relationship “official” when he was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop.
The 20-year-old gave tearful testimony Thursday at the trial of former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Police Officer Kim Potter, who fatally shot Wright after claiming to have accidentally pulled her gun instead of her taser. Albrecht-Payton was in the passenger seat on April 11 when police pulled over Wright because of an air freshener hanging from his rear view mirror.
“He was really scared — I’d never seen him like that before,” Albrecht-Payton said. “If you know Daunte, he’s really happy and positive and you can’t be sad or depressed or angry around him.”
Potter shot Wright in the chest after he escaped from the officers’ grasp in the driver’s seat of the car. After being shot, Wright drove off. Albrecht-Payton said she didn’t remember Wright’s hands being on the wheel as they rode several blocks before swerving into another lane and crashing into another car. Albrecht-Payton also testified that she doesn’t remember some of what happened because she suffered a concussion, fractured jaw, lacerated lip and had to get stitches on her ear from the crash.
After they crashed, a video call from Wright’s mother came through and Albrecht-Payton said she answered.
“I was delirious, I was just screaming, ‘They just shot him, they just shot him,'” Albrecht-Payton testified.
Wright’s mother, Katie Bryant (also known as Katie Wright) recalled her version of the events, saying of Albrecht-Payton: “She was screaming. I was like ‘What’s wrong?’ And she said that they shot him and she faced the phone towards the driver’s seat.”
Albrecht-Payton said she was sorry that she did so. Prosecutor Erin Elridge asked: “I hear you saying that no mom should see her son dead on the phone and you know that that hurt her and you apologize for that?”
“Just dead, period, but yes,” Albrecht-Payton said.
She said Wright was gasping for air after they crashed the car and she begged him to talk to her, “I replay that image in my head daily,” Albrecht-Payton said.
Potter is charged with first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. She has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Watch Albrecht-Payton’s testimony below, followed by Katie Wright’s testimony on Wednesday: