Police officer charged with murder in killing of Australian woman in Minnesota
iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — A Minnesota police officer was indicted Tuesday on murder charges stemming from the fatal shooting last July of a 40 year-old Australian woman in Minnesota, according to prosecutors.
Officer Mohamed Noor, of the Minneapolis Police Department, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of life coach Justine Ruszczyk Damond, according to Hennepin County Jail records.
“Justine’s family in Australia and the U.S. applaud today’s decision to criminally charge Officer Noor with Justine’s murder as one step toward justice for this iniquitous act,” Damond’s family said in a statement Tuesday by their attorney. “While we waited over eight months to come to this point, we are pleased with the way a grand jury and County Attorney Mike Freeman appear to have been diligent and thorough in investigating and ultimately determining that these charges are justified.”
The family said it is hopeful that Noor will be convicted.
“No charges can bring our Justine back,” the family’s statement reads. “However, justice demands accountability for those responsible for recklessly killing the fellow citizens they are sworn to protect, and today’s actions reflect that.”
Noor allegedly shot Damond on July 15 after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home in Minneapolis.
A police officer, Matthew Harrity, witnessed the shooting and told investigators that Noor fired his weapon from the passenger seat of a police SUV when Damond approached the vehicle, hitting her in the abdomen.
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