It’s unknown why a Minnesota police officer would kill a woman who had called 911 to report a disturbance behind her house, but the mysterious shooting death on Saturday of Justine Damond, 40, formerly of Syndey, Autstralia, has left friends and family angry and demanding answers.
It’s been reported that Damond, who worked as a spiritual mentor, was engaged to be married to American Don Damond next month. She relocated across the world for love after the couple met during a workshop in the US. She had been living with him in Minnesota since 2015.
On Saturday night, she called 911 to say she heard a commotion in the alley behind her house and was concerned.
According to a report in the Star Tribune, two officers in one squad car responded to the 911 call. “Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said. No weapon was found at the scene.”
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release that their investigation is in its early stages. “More information will be available once initial interviews with incident participants and any witnesses are complete. … The officers’ body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident. Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists.”
Neighbors said the area is well-lit at night, thanks to an array of telephone poles and motion-activated garage lights.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges held a news conference about the shooting at City Hall late Sunday afternoon, along with city council members.
“I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by the fatal officer-involved shooting that happened last night,” Hodges said, adding that as a council representative of the area for eight years, she knows the neighborhood well. “We have few facts at this point. I have questions about why the bodycams weren’t on.”
“Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,” Damond’s soon-to-be stepson, Zach Damond, told the Tribune. “I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence.”
Along with Zach Damond’s outrage, social media has been ablaze with condemnation over the unprecedented incident.
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