Australian woman killed in Minneapolis police shooting, and her family demands answers

Justine Ruszczyk, a 40-year-old woman who had been living in the United States since 2014, was only a few weeks away from her wedding to fiancé Dan Damond when she was killed by police.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that it has been assisting Justine Damond's family in Sydney and released a statement on behalf of her family members. Police said an officer fatally shot a woman after responding to a 911 call received at around 11:30 p.m.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called the shooting a "tragedy" and said she was "sad and disturbed".

"The officers' body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident".

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Although footage of the shooting is not available, since the officers involved in the incident didn't turn them on, three sources with knowledge of the incident told the Tribune a squad vehicle pulled into the neighborhood and shot Damond, "in her pajamas". Law enforcement sources told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Officer Mohamed Noor, who was seated on the passenger side of his police cruiser, shot Damond through the driver's side window while she was talking to the driver.

The two officers have been placed on administrative leave.

"America sucks, these cops need to be trained differently and I need to move out of here", an emotional Mr Damond said. "... I know we are all anxious for more information and I will share more details once I receive them".

Don Damond, who is Ms Damond's fiance, said the family had nearly no information about what had happened.

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Officials are now investigating why both officers' body cameras were off. Her maiden name was Justine Ruszczyk but she made a decision to use her American fiancé's last name.

Investigators are seeking video of the incident. The friend said that Justine often spoke of how much better things were in her native Australia where gun restrictions are much tighter.

Damond and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn, neighbors told the StarTribune. He said the family is beyond devastated and can't believe what happened.

After an hour of her death, hundreds of women gathered outside the Damond home to hold a vigil for the woman.

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His father had been on a business trip out of town, and only returned on Sunday afternoon.


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