Woman Soon to Be Wed Calls 911, Is Killed by Police

Minnesota department investigating fatal shooting of Justine Damond
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2017 6:17 AM CDT
Updated Jul 17, 2017 7:07 AM CDT
Woman Soon to Be Wed Calls 911, Is Killed by Police
A photo of Justine Damond from her website.   (JustineDamond.com)

A month after the acquittal of the officer in the Philando Castile shooting, Minneapolis police have another high-profile fatality on their hands. A 40-year-old woman due to be married next month was shot to death by police Saturday night after she called 911 to report a noise in the alley near her house. In a release, the department said that the responding officers' body cameras were not turned on and that the shooting is under investigation. The Minneapolis Star Tribune quotes three sources who say that Justine Damond came out of the house in her pajamas when a police car arrived about 11:30pm Saturday and approached the driver's side. She was speaking to the driver when the officer in the passenger seat opened fire and shot her through the door, per the story. It's unclear whether it was accidental.

Damond, a native of Australia, was a yoga instructor and meditation teacher, per her website. Her name was actually Justine Ruszczyk, but she had already begun using the name Damond. She was to wed Don Damond, a 50-year-old businessman who was away on a business trip when the shooting took place. "Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know," his 22-year-old son, Zach, said in a video posted to the Women’s March Minnesota Facebook page. “I demand answers." Mayor Betsy Hodges said she was "heartsick and deeply disturbed by the shooting," which was also making headlines in Australia, per that country's 9News. (More Minneapolis stories.)

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