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'He Just Made You Feel Better': Daunte Wright's Loved Ones Gather With Hundreds For Vigil

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Hundreds attended a vigil Monday night at the place where 20-year-old Daunte Wright died.

A replica of the statue that held space at George Floyd Square now sits in Brooklyn Center. It has become a place of mourning for everyone impacted by Wright's shooting death on Sunday afternoon during a traffic stop with Brooklyn Center police.

People who knew Wright, and many who did not, packed a four-block area around the site for a vigil to remember the young father -- including his mother, Katie Wright.

"I miss him so much already, it's only been a day, and I can't imagine what's gonna happen tomorrow, the next day," Katie Wright said.

A grieving mother spoke to a crowd of hundreds, expressing her grief and frustration with the loss of her child.

"My heart is literally broken into a thousand pieces and I don't know what to do or what to say, but I just need everybody to know that he is much more than this," she said.

Daunte Wright Vigil
(credit: CBS)

People from all over came to share the same space in order to deal with shared feelings of loss, all struggling to understand why he is no longer here. Those who knew Wright say he would always let you know he was in the room. He was always joking, and wanted to make people laugh, which he accomplished by flashing a big smile.

For Chyna Whitaker, she lost more than a friend -- she lost her co-parent for their 1-and-a-half-year-old son, Daunte Jr.

"He just made you feel better when he came around, and I'm just hurt that he's gone, and I can't believe it," Whitaker said. "He loved his son, and it's not fair that his son won't have his dad in his life."

She's grateful he was with the man who loved him most the day before his life was taken.

"I can't really believe that this happened, so like I'm still trying to like process it," she said.

Whitaker is not alone. A crowd of hundreds embraced her and tried, if only for a moment, to ease the pain she and others who knew Wright best are feeling.

"I didn't get to say goodbye to him and just to see him again," she said.

Wright's family says they do not want to hear talk about his past. They say nothing gives anyone the right to take a life during a traffic stop.

His family continues to ask for peace, and want the focus to be on what happened to him so it doesn't happen to someone else.

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