Jul 17, 2017, 5:00 AM ET

Australian woman fatally shot by police in Minneapolis after calling 911


A woman was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer on Saturday after she called 911 to report a possible assault near her home just before midnight, authorities said.

The woman was fatally struck near her home in Minneapolis' Fulton neighborhood after two police officers responded to the 911 call around 11:30 p.m. local time, according to authorities.

Officials have not released the woman's identity, but ABC's Minnesota affiliate, KSTP, identified her as Justine Damond, a 40-year-old Australian native who had been living in the area with her fiance. The two were planning to get married next month, according to KSTP.

"My mom is dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don't know," her stepson, Zach Damond, told KSTP on Sunday.

The Minneapolis Police Department told ABC News on Sunday that both officers were placed on paid administrative leave, pending investigation of the shooting.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting along with the MPD, said that the officers' body cameras and the squad camera were not on at the time. Investigators are working to determine whether any video of the shooting exists, the department said.

The BCA said the investigation is in its "very early stages" and more information will become available "once initial interviews with incident participants and any witnesses are complete," according to a statement released Sunday.

The department said the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine Damond's cause of death. It said the information would be released after her family is notified.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement released late Sunday, "Tonight, I'm sad and disturbed. This is a tragedy — for the family, for a neighborhood I know well and for our whole city ... My thoughts are with the family and the community."

More than 300 people gathered for a vigil on Sunday evening near the site of the shooting.

"Policing, the concept, is an unchecked variable in this nation," one vigil attendee said, according to KSTP. "What we need to do is be together, and what they've spent centuries doing is keeping us apart."

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it is providing consular assistance to Damond's family members and released a statement on their behalf.

"This is a very difficult time for our family. We are trying to come to terms with this tragedy and to understand why this has happened," it said. "We will not make any further comment or statement and ask that you respect our privacy. Thank you."

News - Australian woman fatally shot by police in Minneapolis after calling 911

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  • Stacie Stevens Markham

    Well doesn't this story just suck for abc and leftists everywhere? The cop turns out to be a black somali muslim. Had he been just black they could've called him an uncle tom, but somalian and muslim. Too bad. But then again since it was just a white woman, they probably weren't overly concerned anyway. Only black lives matter, after all.

  • Eric Murphy

    The reason you're not seeing this splattered all over the media is a black cop shot a white woman. If it was the other way around, you can bet there would be marches, protests, 24/7 news coverage - you know, it was only about 10 miles away from Minneapolis that Castille was shot, and they are STILL protesting that. What happens when a black cop shoots a white person? A 30 minute segment on HLN, a few headlines, and then 4 days later, not a peep. The cop is going to get smeared - an Australian national was killed, it doesn't matter that she had dual citizenship. The Australian government is going to want the officer's head on a platter (figuratively speaking) and the US government is going to give it to them to keep them happy.

  • Joseph Zhou

    too many American cops these days are willing to shot first, then ask question later, because they can get away..... you can't not just blame gun crime without asking questions, how come cops these days always ready and willing to using gun as their first resources....many cops have no qualification nor quality to be cop, once their are in uniform, they are becoming criminal with uniform and gun, they are doing no good for community nor country...

  • AdrienC5

    I was attached by police one time in Florida after calling 911 for help over a dog situation. Cops aren't always right. Someone let their dogs go and mine were tied, then disappeared. They euthenised both my dogs, which were completely harmless. If you are thinking dangerous dogs, one was a small Beagle. Law enforcement isn't always right and can either ruin a person's life and/or kill them. They practically beat me up to get me in handcuffs, then killed both my dogs. I was the one who called 911. I was an honor student and had also been hit by a car just before military service. It makes you wonder who the terrorists are sometimes.

  • Matthew Meyer

    I like how this entire thread is based on police brutality and not one fact about the circumstances around the shooting has been released other than she called to report an assault which is why the police were there. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty except for police, what a bunch of hypocrites. Maybe they did do something wrong, maybe she did something wrong. The point of investigations is to find who is culpable, why don't you all get your garments in order and let their SBI do their job. You show me a murderer and ill find a family member that thinks they are the kindest, gentlest person in the world. Like I said, if the cop did something wrong then charge him but a case has to be built first. Derp Derp

  • leezee

    My guess is that she called police to report something in the neighborhood and then went to that area instead of staying safe in her home. The police thought she was a prowler - still not a reason to shoot, but if this was the case, she should have stayed inside.

  • John

    I see ABC News made no mention of the cops nationality/religion, so, he was the first Somali/muslim cop, sharia law, women are property, enjoy.

  • acninee

    The point isn't the BLM is wrong. The point is that we're just sitting back letting this kind of stuff happen to ourselves and we don't bother to organize and complain. We are happy to act like a bunch of sheeple. I salute BLM for seeing a very bad trend in our policing and taking action. The entire community needs to unite behind them because.. if police brutality is OK when a black person is the victim, it will soon be just as OK when a white person is the victim. No one deserves to be the victim of out of control cops.

  • jdaniels1

    When I have called the police they've always come to the door first. Why were all the cameras turned off when an assault call would have seemed the most obvious reason to have them on and they had to have seen the woman in order to shoot her. What we are witnessing is SOP in the majority of police departments. They've operated with impunity and cover up for so long that holding them responsible for their actions is something they can't seem to except or adjust to.

  • (redacted)

    Until there is punishment for officers not turning on their cameras, they wont turn them on whenever they like.

  • djd103

    Cops are turning their body cameras off, or they are merely going back and deleting footage to protect themselves from being charged with their frequent crimes against society. when are we going to see a cop go to jail for destroying possible court evidence. When both cops lose their body cam footage at the same time, it is time to charge cops with tampering with their body cams and with destroying court evidence to obstruct justice. Cops should be thrown in jail for committing crimes for obstructing justice for breaking the law just as much as a normal citizen will be.

  • lousyundead

    "I was in fear for my life" is the cops get out of jail free card.

  • lousyundead

    reports are that she was talking to the officer in the drivers seat and at some point the officer in the passenger seat reached across and shot her.

  • lousyundead

    Funny seeing the trumpers come here concerned about the cop being charged for misconduct after defending every other cop murderer this year... I wonder what's different this time?