Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the fatal shooting of an Australian woman by a Minneapolis police officer over the weekend “shocking” and “inexplicable” and said his diplomats were seeking answers from U.S. authorities.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Tuesday confirmed details of the shooting of Sydney native Justine Damond and also confirmed the identities of the two police officers involved in the incident.
Damond died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen, fired through an open window of the patrol car, after two police officers responded to a call she made of a possible assault in
her neighbourhood, the agency said.
Questions remain surrounding police shooting of an Australian woman in Minnesota. https://t.co/hb3fa1jL2p— The Associated Press (@AP) July 18, 2017
Turnbull said in a television interview on Wednesday morning in Australia that he and the Australian consul-general in Chicago were seeking answers.
“How can a woman out in the street in her pyjamas seeking assistance be shot like that?” the prime minister said in the interview with Nine Network. “It is a shocking killing, and yes, we are demanding answers on behalf of her family.”
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which reviews shootings involving Minneapolis police, was seeking civilian video of the incident.
The incident unfolded as Officers Mohamed Noor and Matthew Harrity were driving through an alley near where the shooting occurred, searching for a suspect, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said.
At one point, Harrity told investigators, he was startled by a loud sound near the patrol car. Immediately afterwards, Damond approached the driver’s side of the squad car and Noor, who was in the passenger seat, fired his weapon through the open driver’s-side window, striking Noor, the agency said.
The agency said Noor, with the police department for 21 months, and Harrity, a one-year veteran, have been placed on administrative leave.