News

‘MUM’S DEAD’: ‘Brilliant’ Australian killed by US police

AN Australian woman has been shot dead by police in Minneapolis.

Justine Damond, 40, was fatally shot in an "officer-involved shooting" in the city's Fulton neighbourhood according to police.

The Sydney woman had been living with her fiance and son in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis police confirmed the incident in a statement.

Justine Damond pictured with her fiance Don Damond and stepson Zach.
Justine Damond pictured with her fiance Don Damond and stepson Zach. Facebook

"Two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call of a possible assault just north of the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South just before 11.30pm Saturday," it read.

"At one point an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman.

The officer who shot the woman was under investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which was interviewing witnesses and "incident participants".

Minnesota police wear body cameras, but the officers involved did not have their cameras turned on at the time.

Police said a squad camera also failed to capture the incident, and investigators were seeking to determine if any video of the incident existed.

Two officers responded to a 911 call about a possible assault in the alley off of West 51st Street between Washburn and Xerxes avenues around 11.30pm, according to a statement released Sunday by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

"At one point one officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman," the BCA said.

"Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists."

The shooting occurred on the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South in Minneapolis's Fulton neighbourhood.
The shooting occurred on the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South in Minneapolis's Fulton neighbourhood.

Ms Damond, who also went by the name Justine Ruszczyk, was engaged to be married.

Her stepson told the Star Tribune she had heard a noise from an alleyway and called police who attended the scene.

"She was out on 51st Street and she was shot," the son, Zach Damond, said.

"Basically my mum's dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don't know.

"I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I'm so done with all this violence."

Mr Damond said the woman, reportedly an Australian in her 40s, was "passionate" and his "best friend".

"Basically my mum was shot for reasons I don't know," Mr Damond said in a video posted on Facebook on Monday morning (AEST).

"I just know she heard a sound in the alley so then she called the police and the cops showed up and she was a very passionate woman, she probably thought something bad was happening and then next thing I know they take my best friend's life."

Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges said she intended to find out why the officers' body cameras were not turned on.

"As mayor of our city, a wife, and a grandmother, I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by what occurred last night," she posted on Facebook.

The woman was to be married to Mr Damond, 50, in August, according to Hannah, a close family friend, the Star Tribune reports.

Friends have begun to pay tribute to the speaker and meditation consultant.

She has been described as an "incredible woman" and a "brilliant, well-known, local healer".

"My heart aches for her fiance and mother in law who often accompanied Justine while she taught some profound meditation classes, sound healing classes, and her Sunday messages at Lake Harriet Spiritual Community," Angela Pederson wrote on Facebook

"I am happy to have known Justine and her untimely, tragic death is a reminder to live life fully, love deeply, and take risks to love as we are not promised tomorrow."

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to news.com.au it was "providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian woman who died in a shooting in Minneapolis".

Mr Damond was on a business trip and returned home Sunday afternoon after the tragedy occurred.

Activist Mel Reeves, who was at the scene told his Facebook followers that a vigil to support the family would be held at 6pm Sunday on 51st Street near where the shooting occurred.

Hannah said the woman worked as "a spiritual healer" and that "she was the most loving woman" who "kind of flowed through the house so lightly."

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy and release details, including the victim's name and the cause and manner of her death.

Investigators are also trying to determine whether video of the incident exists, as officers' body cameras were turned off at the time and cameras in the police car did not capture the incident, according to a statement from the Department of Public Safety.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  editors picks general-seniors-news justine damond police shooting shooting



Is there a doctor in the valley?

COUNTRY LIFE: Beautiful vistas, fresh air and great community spirit, all that's missing is a GP.

Ulong community in search of 'County Practice'

Coffs' CitySmarts safeguard communities through CCTV

SECURITY SOLUTION: The security cameras that have been installed in the main street of Inverell.

From the GM's desk with Steve McGrath

Run in for early bird specials

NEVER TOO OLD: 81-year-old Tom Hulbert crosses the line in last year's Bendigo Bank Coffs Harbour Running Festival 10km event.

Reduced entry prices for Running Festival end on Monday.

Local Partners

Pulse is rising for Jesse on organ donation list

At the age of 18 Jesse Vincent should be in his prime, but he is instead staring at the end of his life unless he receives a heart transplant.


Challenge for cyclists of all levels and ages

This year's C.ex McDonald's Cycle Challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6. You can ride in the the 10km family ride, 20km, 40km, 60km, or the 100km challenge.

This year's cycle challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6.

New developments announced for Curryfest

TASTE TREATS: New developments for Curryfest 2017.

Fresh ideas and developments show no sign of slowing down.

Why crowds are loving Happy Kanye at Splendour

Danger Dave and Melissah Marie with the artwork Happy Kanye at Splendour in the Festival 2017.

By Barcelona-based artistic collective Hungry Castle

BREAKING: Cartoonist wins Archibald Prize

CARTOONIST Mitch Cairns has claimed this year’s Archibald Prize for his portrait of partner and fellow artist Agatha Gothe-Snape.

Princess Diana: How an Aussie's story made her cry

‘A tear rolled down her cheek’ ... Phil Williams tells his story to Princess Diana.

Phil Williams met Princess Diana on his 18th birthday.

Jonathan LaPaglia takes you inside Australian Survivor s2

Jonathan LaPaglia in a scene from season two of Australian Survivor.

Strategy plays key role as castaways seek to make savvy moves.

Bachelor Recap: Matty’s stunning public rejection

Chic.

Last night we saw humiliation at its best

NZ anchor drops F-bomb live on air

Veteran news anchor Eric Young has been caught uttering an expletive.

Veteran NZ newsreader swears on live television

The Block's family home rescue mission

Scott Cam hosts the TV series The Block.

Reno show's new concept proves its biggest challenge to date.

Angelina Jolie 4.0: Is anyone buying this?

Angelina Jolie, master media manipulator, is back.

An opportunity for lifestyle and income

The Real Estate Property Guide is online now

Hearty food for cold nights

Boneless lamb shoulder roast with crushed kipflers.

RECIPES: Two tasty lamb dishes to try this winter

How one man made more than $20m in a land deal

Varsity Lakes

Sale, with GST added, shows as a $26.4 million transaction

Holiday home crackdown

HOLIDAY: Short-term holiday letting is being scrutinised by the state government.

A holiday life-saver for some, neighbourhood headache for others