The Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Justine Damond may have been startled by the sound of someone “slapping” the police cruiser that arrived to the scene last Saturday night after Damond called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.
According to a search warrant obtained by Minneapolis news station KMSP, the two responding officers heard a woman “slap” the back of the police car just moments before Damond approached the driver’s side door, where officer Matthew Harrity was sitting. It is not known if Damond is the same woman who touched the vehicle.
The warrant reportedly states that “after that, it is unknown to BCA agents what exactly happened, but the female became deceased by the alley in the 5100 block of Washburn Ave S with trauma to her torso that could be a gunshot wound.”
Officer Mohammed Noor was in the passenger’s seat, and shot at Damond through the driver’s side window. Police sources told the Star Tribune that Harrity was “stunned” when his partner at the scene shot the woman.
It is not known if Damond is the same woman who touched the squad car before the fatal shooting. The 40-year-old Australian native was unarmed and engaged to be married next month.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Harrity told investigators that he and Officer Noor heard a “loud noise” just before Damond approached the vehicle. Neither officer had their bodycams turned on, and dashcam video did not capture the incident.
Officer Noor has retained an attorney and so far declined to speak to investigators. At the request of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Chief of Police Janee Harteau resigned last week. Both the former police chief and the mayor have spoken critically about the officer’s actions.
Feature photo: Justine Damond personal website