Highly Anticipated BCA Report on Police Shooting Released
Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - A news release issued by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension doesn’t provide much new information concerning Saturday night’s fatal police shooting in South Minneapolis.
It does confirm the gunshot that killed a 40-year-old Australian woman was fired by Officer Mohamed Noor from the passenger seat of the squad car that was dispatched to investigate a 911 call about a possible sexual assault. The BCA report states the shot fired by Officer Noor passed through the open window on the driver’s side of the vehicle and struck Justine Ruszczyk after she approached the driver’s side of the squad car in the alley behind her home. Ruszcyzk, who often used her soon-to-be husband’s last name Damond, was hit in the abdomen and died at the scene.
Both officers involved in the deadly incident were fairly new to the job. Noor had been with the Minneapolis Police Department 21 months, while his partner, Officer Michael Harrity, was hired by the Minneapolis Police Department a year ago. It was Officer Harrity who provided the account of the shooting to the BCA. Officials say Officer Noor has, so far, declined to be interviewed by investigators.
Officer Harrity told investigators he was driving into the alley where the shooting took place with all of the squad car’s lights off when he was startled by a loud sound just before Damond approached the vehicle. The report also states both officers immediately began providing first-aid to Damond after the shooting and a young man on a bike stopped at the scene. The BCA says investigators are hoping to speak to the bicyclist or anyone else who may have witnessed the incident.
The news release also indicates investigators are not aware of any video or sound recordings of the shooting, noting the body cameras worn by both officers were not activated until after the shot was fired and the squad car’s dash cam was not turned on.