The distraught father of the Australian woman killed by police in the United States has pleaded for justice for his daughter.
40-year-old Justine Damond – also known as Justine Ruszczyk – from Sydney’s northern beaches, was shot dead by a police officer in Minneapolis on Saturday night.
After having called 911 to a disturbance near her home where she was living with her fiance and soon-to-be stepson, Ms Damond encountered a squad car. One of the two officers in the car shot the unarmed Ms Damond.
“We thought yesterday was our worst nightmare but we awoke to the ugly truth and it hurt even more,” Ms Damond’s grieving father, John Ruszczyk, said on Tuesday from Sydney.
“Justine was a beacon for all of us,” he said. “We only ask that the light of justice shine down on the circumstances of her death.”
Ms Damond was living and working in Minneapolis USA as an instructor at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community.
Speaking from the city on Monday, Don Damond, Justine Damond’s fiance, said that she had called 911 to report what she thought was a sexual assault occurring in a nearby alley, before the tragic turn of events.
“Piecing together Justine’s last moments before the homicide would provide small comfort as we grieve this tragedy,” he said.
While the police officers’ cameras were not on, audio of the incident was recorded.
It has emerged that the policeman identified as firing the shot that killed Ms Damond, Mohamed Noor, is a relatively inexperienced officer of just two-years’ service and has three complaints filed against him.
“Officer Noor extends his condolences to the family and anyone else who has been touched by this event,” a lawyer for Mr Noor said.
“He takes their loss seriously and keeps them in his daily thoughts and prayers.”
“We would like to say more and will in the future. At this time, however, there are several investigations that are ongoing,” the lawyer added.
Following the shooting, Ms Damond’s 22-year-old soon-to-be stepson, Zack Damond, posted a video on Facebook pleading for answers.
“I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call the police and demand answers,” he says in the video, “I’m so done with all this violence.”
“I just know she heard a sound in the alley so then she called the police and the cops showed up and she was a very passionate woman, she probably thought something bad was happening and then next thing I know they take my best friend’s life.”
TOP IMAGE: Australian expat Justine Damond who was shot by police in Minneapolis USA. (Facebook)