An ex-Minnesota officer was convicted of murder for the 2017 shooting death of a woman who had called 911 and reported a possible sexual assault occurring behind her home.
On Tuesday, a jury found Mohamed Noor, 33, guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in July 2017 slaying of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, a dual U.S.-Australian citizen who was soon to be married.
Noor was fired from the force and charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the woman’s death. Despite the two guilty verdicts, he was acquitted of second-degree murder.
“This was indeed a sad and tragic incident that has affected family, friends, neighbors, the City of Minneapolis and people around the world, most significantly in her home country of Australia,” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said in a statement issued to the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Tuesday.
“As Chief, I will ensure that the MPD learns from this case and we will be in spaces to listen, learn and do all we can to help our communities in healing.”
Noor was one of the officers who responded that night and he’s claimed that he fired his gun to protect his frightened partner after hearing a thump on their squad car followed by a figure appearing on the driver’s side, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
However, prosecutors argued that the Noor’s account was fabricated, presenting evidence that Damond never came into contact with the cruiser as her fingerprints weren’t found anywhere on it.
Furthermore, prosecutors asserted there wasn’t any indication that Damond—who was in pajamas when Noor fatally shot her—should’ve been considered a threat. Toxicology tests revealed Damond didn’t have drugs or alcohol in her system at the time of her death.
The jury deliberated Monday without reaching a verdict and continued deliberations the following day.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 7.
[Featured image: Mohamed Noor/AP Photo/Jim Mone; Justine Ruszczyk Damond/AP Photo/Amy Forliti, File]