MINNEAPOLIS – Something went horribly wrong in Minneapolis. An Australian woman engaged to marry an American next month lost her life during an officer-involved shooting Saturday night. She had recently called the police to report an incident. Her family and the community are urgently demanding answers.
The woman, identified as Justine Damond, 40, was killed in the late-night shooting in the city’s Fulton neighborhood, Fox 9 reported. She apparently had called to report an assault.
A memorial for Damond is growing near the spot where she was killed, though information about what exactly happened in that south Minneapolis alleyway remains scarce.
Officials confirmed in a release Sunday–and later at a press conference–that a woman died as the result of an officer-involved shooting and that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident.
Beyond that, they ask for patience from the public as investigators continue to probe the incident.
“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 11:30 p.m. Saturday,” the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release. “At one point, an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman.”
Police were trying to determine whether any video of the incident exists. The body cameras of the officers involved were not activated, according to police.
Damond was an Australian national and instructor with the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community. She was engaged to be married in August and has a son, according to Fox 9. Her fiance, identified by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, as Don Damond, was reportedly on his way home from a business trip.
Damond, whose maiden name was Ruszczyk but went by her fiance’s last name, called police after hearing a sound in a nearby alley, according to their son, Zach Damond, 22.
“Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,” Zach Damond told the Star-Tribune. “I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence.”
At a press conference Sunday, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called the shooting “tragic.”
The medical examiner’s office will be conducting an autopsy. But for now, there are far more questions than answers.
(Photo: Screenshot KMSP news broadcast)
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