Sunrise vigil held for Australian woman fatally shot by Minnesota officer
iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) — Family and friends of the Australian woman who was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer last week gathered Wednesday in her native Australia for a sunrise vigil.
Nearly 300 people gathered at Sydney’s Freshwater Beach to pay tribute to Justine Damond, 40, who was allegedly shot by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor on Saturday after she called 911 to report a possible assault near her home.
Vigil attendees, many carrying candles, tossed single pink blossoms into the ocean. Pink was her favorite color, her family said.
“We’re here to come together as a community around our beautiful Justine to honor her life, share our love and mourn her death,” her family said in a statement Wednesday.
Damond’s father, John Ruszczyk, who also attended the vigil, spoke out for the first time on Tuesday to demand more information about how his daughter died.
“Justine, our daughter, was so special to us and to so many others. Justine was a beacon to all of us,” Ruszczyk told reporters Tuesday. “We only ask that the light of justice shine down on the circumstances of her death.”
Damond, a meditation and yoga instructor, lived in Minneapolis’ Fulton neighborhood with her fiance, Don Damond. The two were planning to marry next month.
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