Minneapolis police shooting of Australian woman brings intense scrutiny

Justine Damond, 40, was shot and killed on Saturday night by a Minneapolis police officer, the Star Tribune reports. She was living in the United States for three years with her fiancé Don Damond, 50, and was preparing to marry him in August.

Both officers who responded to the 911 call have been placed on administrative leave, the Star Tribune quoted police as saying.

The mayor also questioned why the police body cameras and squad camera, which were introduced to the Minneapolis Police Department in 2016, were not switched on when the shooting occurred.

A woman engaged to be married next month who called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her house approached Minneapolis police officers in her pajamas and was shot to death.

Justine Damond, 40, was reportedly gunned down by officer Mohamed Noor, who was sitting in the passenger side of the police vehicle in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "I have questions about why the body cams weren't on", she said.

Alison Monaghan, a friend who trained Ms Damon in alternative therapies, told the ABC she was "the most handsome person", who moved to the U.S. to "follow her heart" for a "new life".

A man claiming to be Ms Damond's stepson said in a Facebook video that she was the one who alerted authorities.

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Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges wants to know why the officers' body cameras were off.

But after Minneapolis police arrived, an officer shot and killed Ruszczyk.

She was an Australia native living in Minneapolis with her fiance.

The country's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it is providing consular assistance to the woman's family. She reportedly held dual citizenship in both the United States and Australia, as her father is a US citizen.

His father had been on a business trip out of town, and only returned on Sunday afternoon. Damond owned a meditation and life-coaching company, according to her personal website. The station did not provide details on the nature of the complaints but said one was dismissed with no disciplinary action and the other two are pending. The source said that Noor was sitting in the passenger seat at the time of the shooting.

"I mean ask anybody here, they're shocked", said a student of Damond's, Corey Birkholz, who was amongst the 200 who gathered at a vigil to commemorate their teacher.

  • Sonia Alvarado