A woman slapped the back of a squad car before a Minneapolis police officer opened fire, killing yoga teacher Justine Damond, who had called 911 to report a possible attack, according to court documents.
It was not clear whether the woman who smacked the vehicle was Damond.
A search warrant affidavit filed by a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension homicide investigator said police responded July 15 to a report of a woman possibly being attacked in an alley.
“A female ‘slaps’ the back of the patrol squad,” the warrant says. “After that it is unknown to BCA agents what exactly happened, but the female became deceased in the alley, approximately 10 to 20 feet north of 51st St."
Officer Mohamed Noor fired his weapon from the passenger seat of the car, hitting Damond, 40, in the stomach. He has refused to cooperate with BCA investigators, authorities said.
Noor and his partner were “startled” by a loud noise before Noor opened fire, the partner told detectives.
In Minneapolis and neighboring St. Paul, fake street signs appeared over the weekend warning “Twin Cities Police Easily Startled.” A policeman with guns blazing is depicted in silhouette.
The documents also noted that a cell phone found near Damond’s body is being examined by authorities. Also taken into evidence were a 9-millimeter cartridge shell and blood samples from the rear of the squad car.
Damond, a wife-to-be from Australia, had called 911 after hearing a woman screaming in the alley behind her home, police said.
Her death has generated international scrutiny of local law enforcement, and prompted the resignation last week of Police Chief Janee Harteau.
Noor is on administrative leave pending the results of state and police department investigations.