Minneapolis officials have left several questions unanswered about why Justine Damond was fatally shot by an officer after calling 911 to report about a possible sexual assault.
Justine Ruszczyk, an Australian yoga instructor and spiritual healer, who used the last name of her fiancé, Dan Damond, was fatally shot by Officer Mohamed Noor of the Minneapolis Police Department after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near the house they shared on Saturday night.
Her family and friends in Minnesota and Australia are frustrated by the lack of information from authorities about the mysterious circumstances that led Noor to fire his weapon at a pajama-clad Damond in the alley near her house.
Questions have also been raised about why the two officers' body cameras were not on during the incident.
Police are not investigating her report of possible sexual assault, a police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News Wednesday. The officers canvassed the area and “did not find anything” that would lead the police to investigate further.
Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Janeé Harteau have acknowledged people's frustration with the lack of information about the shooting. Harteau said she has asked to expedite the investigation to “provide transparency and to answer as many questions as quickly as we can.”
Damond's family addresses the media outside their house in Sydney, Australia.
Newspix / Getty Images
- At 11:27 pm, Damond called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her house.
She told the 911 operator, “I can hear someone out the back and I, I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped.” Damond said that the woman didn't sound like “she's enjoying it.” She added, “It sounds like sex noises, but it’s been going on for a while and I think she tried to say help and it sounds distressed.”
- Officer Matthew Harrity and Officer Mohamed Noor arrived at the scene around 10 minutes later.
Harrity, who has been with the police force for one year, was driving the squad car and Noor, who has been an officer for nearly two years, was in the passenger seat.
The squad car's lights were off and the squad car's camera was not turned on. Both officers' body cameras were not activated.
- As the two officers approached the street near Damond's house, Harrity told BCA he that he was “startled by a loud sound” near the squad car.
“Immediately afterward,” Damond approached the driver's side window of the squad car, according to Harrity's account. She was in her pajamas, sources told the Star Tribune, and briefly spoke with Harrity.
Harrity said that Noor then fired his weapon across the car, striking Damond once in the abdomen through the open driver's side window.
- In an audio recording of a conversation between the two officers and a dispatcher, the dispatcher can be heard saying, “Female screaming behind the building.”
One of the officers then calmly tells the dispatcher, “Shots fired…we got one down.”
“The officers immediately exited the squad car and provided medical attention until medical personnel arrived,” the BCA said in a press release on Tuesday.
Approximately 14 minutes elapsed between the time Damond called 911 and when the officers informed the dispatcher that one person was shot, the incident report shows.
- Damond was declared dead at the scene at 11:51 pm, according to the medical examiner's report.
- Crime scene personnel recovered a cell phone near Damond. No weapons were recovered.
- The police department is not investigating the possible sexual assault that Damond reported in her 911 call because the “officers canvassed the area and “did not find anything that would lead” the police to investigate further, an MPD spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday.