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USA police kill Australian woman in unexplained shooting

18 July 2017

The police officer identified as the man who killed Australian woman Justin Damond in the United States city of Minneapolis over the weekend reached across his partner from the passenger seat of their squad vehicle to shoot the unarmed woman.

A Minneapolis police officer fatally shot a woman after she allegedly called 911 for help.

Officials in Minnesota on Monday were investigating why an Australian woman was shot and killed over the weekend by a police officer responding to a call the woman made about a disturbance outside her home.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called the shooting "tragic" and said she was "heartsick" and "deeply disturbed" by it.

Investigators said the officers involved had body cameras, but they weren't turned on. The department's policy allows for a range of situations in which officers are supposed to do so, including "any contact involving criminal activity" and before use of force.

Making the effort to get to the bottom of what happened more hard, too, is the fact the two officers involved did not have their body cameras turned on, nor did the squad camera record the fatal shooting, MPR News reported. Australian outlets are posting news about the shooting, and her fiancé, Don Damond, is also gaining attention on Facebook after the fatal incident.

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

A Facebook page called Women's March Minnesota posted a video on Sunday and said, "We demand justice!"

"Basically my mum was shot for reasons I don't know", he said in a video posted on Monday morning.

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"This should not have happened. that could've been me, that could've been you, that could've been you, that could've been any of us".

The 40-year-old ran meditation workshops at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community. The Star Tribune reported that Justine went by her to-be married name instead of her maiden name, Justine Ruszczyk.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he expects to receive the BCA findings, once completed, to determine whether either officer should be charged in Damond's death.

"She thought something bad was happening and next thing I know, they take my best friend's life", the man, named Zach, said in the video.

"She was treasured and loved and we will really miss her", Reed said. "I'm so done with all this violence", he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed they're providing consular support to the family of an Australian woman killed in the US.

"I've asked for the investigation to be expedited to provide transparency and to answer as many questions as quickly as we can", Harteau said.

The website says Damond's "interest in supporting people to heal and transform themselves developed after she saw family members suffer greatly from depression, alcoholism and cancer".

After an hour of her death, hundreds of women gathered outside the Damond home to hold a vigil for the woman. He is the subject of an existing lawsuit levied by a woman who says Noor injured her when he and two other officers transported her to the hospital.

USA police kill Australian woman in unexplained shooting