Authorities and a grieving family are seeking answers in a police-involved fatal shooting in Minneapolis this weekend.
The Star-Tribune reports that Justine Damond, 40, was shot by a police officer responding to her 911 call about a disturbance in the Fulton neighborhood where she lived with her fiancé Don Damond, who she was set to marry next month. Mr. Damon was on a business trip at the time.
Damond was an Australian native and had already begun using her fiance’s surname. In an interview with the Star-Tribune, Mr. Damon’s son Zach, who lives across the street from the couple, referred to the deceased woman as his mother.
Sydney woman Justine Damond shot dead by Minneapolis police https://t.co/ECGa2AqiSu
— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) July 17, 2017
Described by a friend as a “spiritual healer,” Damond reportedly called 911 late Saturday night to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home. When two Minneapolis police officers arrived, Damond reportedly walked to their car parked in the alley, while in her pajamas, and began speaking to them at the driver’s side door.
For reasons not yet understood, the officer in the passenger seat fired his weapon at Damond, shooting her through the driver’s side door.
“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.”
The BCA statement continues to say that the officers’ body cameras were not turned on, and that dashcam video did not capture the fatal shooting.
“Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists,” the statement reads.
No weapon was found at the scene, and a family friend told the Star-Tribune that Ms. Damond would not have been carrying a gun. The friend said that Justine often spoke of how much better things were in her native Australia where gun restrictions are much tighter.
The officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges addressed the shooting in a statement at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
“I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by the fatal officer-involved shooting that happened last night,” Hodges said.
“We have few facts at this point. I want to know more. I call on the BCA to share as much information with all of us as quickly as they can.”
“I have questions about why the bodycams weren’t on,” Hodges said.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Feature photo: Facebook