Bride-to-Be Shot and Killed by Police After Calling 911 to Report Possible Assault

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A yoga and meditation teacher living in Minneapolis was shot and killed by police after she called 911 to report a possible assault in an alley behind her home.

The woman was identified by family as Australian native Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a trained veterinarian who moved to Minneapolis to be with her fiancé, Don Damond.

The pair planned to marry next month, and Damond, 40, had already taken her fiancé’s last name.

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On Monday, the officer was named as Mohamad Noor, who's reportedly been with Minneapolis Police Department for two years.

His attorney, Tom Plunkett, released a statement to CBS Minnesota.

"Officer Noor extends his condolences to the family and anyone else who has been touched by this event," it said in part. "He takes their loss seriously and keeps them in his daily thoughts and prayers. He came to the U.S. at a young age and is thankful to have had so many opportunities. He takes these events very seriously because for him being a police officer is a calling."

He was one of two Minneapolis police officers who responded to a 911 call of a possible assault north of the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South, at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a press release from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

“At one point an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman,” the release said.

It was not immediately clear what led to the shooting.

Neither officer had their body cameras on when the woman was killed. In addition, their squad car’s camera did not capture footage of the shooting, authorities said.

All Minneapolis police officers have worn body cameras since late 2016.

“I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by the fatal officer-involved shooting,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said a news conference Sunday. “We all want to know more; I want to know more... I have a lot of questions about why the body cameras weren’t on, questions that I hope and anticipate will be answered in the next few days and I share those questions with the community.”

She called on the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is handling the investigation, to share as much information as possible while their probe continues.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Three sources “with knowledge of the incident” told the Star Tribune that as Damond spoke with the officer in the driver seat, the officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot her through the driver’s side door.

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“My mom is dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know and I demand answers,” Zach Damond, Justine Damond’s soon-to-be stepson, said in a video posted to the Women’s March Minnesota Facebook page. “If anybody can help, just call the police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence.”

Zach Damond, 22, said his father’s fiancée heard a sound in the alley so she called the police.

“She was a very passionate woman, and she probably — she thought something bad was happening,” he said. “Next thing I know, they take my best friend’s life.”

Damond was a trained as a veterinarian in Sydney, but focused her life’s work on personal health as a spiritual healer and meditation coach, her professional website said.

Her website noted Damond was “most passionate about supporting individuals and organizations to discover the power and potential within their own brains and hearts, leveraging them to new levels of engagement, productivity, success and expansion based on conscious, aware business practices, collaboration and community.”

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