One of the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the shooting death of Justine Damond (who was also known by her birth name, Justine Ruszczyk) told investigators in an interview last week that he was startled by a “loud sound” near the squad car just before the fatal shooting.
According to CNN, immediately after that sound was made, Damond came up to the driver’s side window of the squad car and was ultimately shot and killed by Police Officer Mohamed Noor, investigators noted.
A recently unveiled search warrant describes the sound as a “slap.”
The report indicates that a woman, presumed to be the victim, was killed after she slapped the back of the police car, according to the search warrant obtained by local news sources.
“Upon police arrival, a female ‘slaps’ the back of the patrol squad,” the search warrant states, according to Minneapolis Public Radio, CNN notes. “After that, it is unknown to BCA [Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] agents what exactly happened, but the female became deceased in the alley.”
It’s interesting how the finer details of what exactly happened are still not available, but I am sure they will come to light soon enough.
Damond, a yoga and meditation teacher originally from Australia, was shot on July 15 after calling 911 to report a possible assault in an alley behind the home she shared with her fiance, whose last name she used, though the two had not yet married.
The community instantly rallied around Damond’s family and loved ones, including her American fiance. Noor, the officer who fired the fatal shots, was almost immediately identified following the shooting. Attorney Robert Bennett—who worked with the family of Philando Castile after the legal gun owner was fatally shot by now former St. Anthony, Minn., Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez—called Damond the “most innocent victim” of a police shooting he has ever seen.
Whatever happened to Damond, several questions remain, including how the unarmed instructor wound up dead less than 30 minutes after the police squad car arrived in response to her call. The officers’ body cameras were not turned on and the shooting was not captured on the squad car camera.
In the meantime, perhaps the citizens of Minnesota had the right idea when someone recently put up two illegal street signs that read, “Warning: Twin Cities Police Easily Startled.”
Read more at CNN.