A 40-year-old Australian woman who was engaged to be married was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer after she called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home.
One of the two officers who responded to the scene shot and killed Sydney, Australia native Justine Damond, the Star Tribune reported.
Police arrived in a squad car and the officer seated in the passenger seat shot Damond through the driver’s side window, sources familiar with the incident said, the media outlet reported.
The two officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave.
“Two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call of a possible assault just north of the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue S, just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday,” the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release. “At one point, an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman,” it read.
“The BCA’s investigation is in its early stages. More information will be available once initial interviews with incident participants and any witnesses are complete. … The officers’ body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident. Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists.”
The woman was not named by police but people at the scene confirmed her identity, the Star Tribune reported.
No video of the incident has been released, and investigators are working to determine whether any exists.
The officers’ body cameras were not turned on and the squad camera did not capture the incident.
Police didn’t say why the officers’ body cameras were turned off.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges also questioned the circumstances. “I have questions about why the bodycams weren’t on,” she said in a press conference Sunday.
A woman who called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer Saturday.
Minneapolis police officers are required to activate their cameras during “critical incidents,” according to department policy.
A “critical incident” includes “any action by an officer that causes or is intended to cause Death or Great Bodily Harm.”
Justine Damond was engaged to Don Damond, 50, whose 22-year-old son, Zach Damond, was at the scene Sunday morning.
“Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,” he told the Star Tribune. “I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence,” he said.
Zach said Justine called police after she “heard a sound in the alley,” which neighbors described as being well-lit at night.
They also described Justine as “a beautiful light” who was “so in love” with her fiance.
Justine’s fiance Don was away on business when the shooting occurred, the Tribune reports.
Justine, whose maiden name is Ruszczyk, used the name Damond even though the couple were not yet married.
Her website describes her as a spiritual healer with the ability to help clients access their “unlimited potential for personal transformation.”