Australian woman killed in shooting by US police in Minneapolis

Australian woman Justine Damond killed in police shooting in Minneapolis, U.S.

A 40-year-old Australian woman was fatally shot by police officer in Minneapolis in the United States.

Her family members said called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home Saturday night.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it is providing consular assistance to her family. The agency declined to identify the woman citing privacy concerns.

“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 11.30pm Saturday,” the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a statement, according to the Star Tribune. “At one point, an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman.

One police officer fired their weapon, killing 40-year-old Sydney woman Justine Damond.

The officers were wearing body cameras but they were not turned on during the incident, the mayor said.

Ms Damond, also known as Justine Ruszczyk, was a trained veterinarian who worked as a spiritual healer and meditation teacher.

The woman, Justine Damond, from Sydney, Australia, and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn.

Her stepson, Zac Damond, said she had called police after hearing a noise near her house.

Zach Damond, 22, whose father, Don, 50, was to be married to Justine in August, arrived at the scene with a close family friend about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. While the couple were not yet married, Justine referred to herself as Damond on her personal website. Her maiden name was Justine Ruszczyk.

“Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,” Zach Damond said, referring to Justine. “I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence.”

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is leading the investigation, Hodges said.

“As mayor of our City, a wife, and a grandmother, I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by what occurred last night,” Hodges said Sunday.

Neighbors mourn woman fatally shot by police officer in Minneapolis

At a community vigil in the neighborhood on Sunday night, about 50 friends and neighbors held hands in a semicircle around the spot where Damond fell, while another 200 or more people watched from the sidewalk and the street. Some sobbed.

“This woman was a beautiful light,” said Bethany Bradley of Women’s March Minnesota, who had been at the scene since Sunday morning. “She was loved. She should still be here.

Friends and neighbors of Justine Damond held hands as a vigil to remember began Sunday evening.
Friends and neighbors of Justine Damond held hands as a vigil to remember began Sunday evening.

A woman named Hannah, who is a close family friend, said Justine was a “spiritual healer.” “I don’t know what she was doing out,” Hannah said. “She’s such a kind woman. She took me in when I was in a tough situation and helped me with whatever I needed.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International