Fiance of Justine Damond, shot dead by US police officer, pleads for more information video

REUTERS

"We've lost the dearest of people and we're desperate for information," says Don Damond, the fiance of Justine Damond who was fatally shot by US police.

The fiance of the Australian woman shot dead by a police officer near their home in Minneapolis, US, has described her as a loving and generous woman, while pleading with local authorities for more information about her last moments alive.

Justine Damond, 40, was shot dead on Saturday in an alley in the suburban Minneapolis neighbourhood of Fulton, after phoning 911 to report what she believed was a sexual assault occurring nearby.​

She went outside in her pyjamas, and a short time later was shot dead by a police officer, who has been identified as Mohamed Noor.

Don Damond is comforted by his son Zach Damond as he speaks to the media about his fiance.
ADAM BETTCHER/REUTERS

Don Damond is comforted by his son Zach Damond as he speaks to the media about his fiance.

Her tearful fiance, Don Damond, gave a brief statement to the press on Monday, supported by family members.

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"Our hearts are broken, and we are utterly devastated by the loss of Justine," he said, with a voice that cracked at times with emotion. 

Justine Damond, left, pictured with her fiance Don and Don's son Zach.
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Justine Damond, left, pictured with her fiance Don and Don's son Zach.

"Sadly, her family and I have been provided with almost no additional information from law enforcement regarding what happened after police arrived," he said.

"We lost the dearest of people, and we are desperate for information. Piecing together Justine's last moments, before the homicide, would  be a small comfort as we grieve this tragedy."

Damond's 22-year-old son Zach, who has described Justine Damond as his mum and "best friend", stood behind Damond during the press conference, his hands resting lovingly on his dad's shoulders.

RNZ

An Australian woman has shot dead by a US police officer in Minneapolis. David Chanen has been covering the story for Minnesota's Star Tribune newspaper.

The state body investigating the shooting, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said one officer fired his gun at the woman and that no other weapon was found at the scene, confirming Damond, who was also known as Justine Ruszczyk, was unarmed at the time.

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Audio released on Monday by Minnesota Police Clips revealed the officers calling in the incident to the dispatcher. "Shots fired ... we have one down," one of the officers says.

Several local media outlets have reported the officer was sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle when he fired the fatal shots, but what precisely led to the shooting remains a mystery.

Don Damond hugs a neighbor after reading a statement about his fiance, Justine Damond who was fatally shot by ...
Adam Bettcher

Don Damond hugs a neighbor after reading a statement about his fiance, Justine Damond who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police.

The police officers' body cameras were not turned on at the time of the shooting, a fact that has already been condemned by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Don Damond echoed friends and family of his fiancee in describing her as a woman with a warm and loving nature.

"To everyone who knew her, she touched so many people with her loving and generous heart," he said on Monday. "She was a teacher to so many, in living a life of openness, love and kindness."

Justine Ruszczyk, also known as Damond, was shot after she had called 911.

Justine Ruszczyk, also known as Damond, was shot after she had called 911.

"Our lives are forever changed as a result of knowing her. She was so kind, and so darn funny. She made us all laugh with her great wit, and her humour.

"It is difficult to fathom how to go forward without her in my life. We ask that you respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our dear Justine."

A trained veterinarian who later became a meditation teacher, yoga instructor and life coach, Justine Damond moved to the US in 2015 to be with Damond, taking on the use of his surname even before they were married. According to the Star Tribune, their wedding was due to take place next month.

Memorials for Justine Damond on the alleyway where she was shot.
REUTERS

Memorials for Justine Damond on the alleyway where she was shot.

 - Sydney Morning Herald

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