Relatives demand answers in fatal Minnesota police shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Relatives and neighbors of an Australian woman fatally shot by Minneapolis police over the weekend demanded answers Monday about the mysterious shooting in which the meditation teacher was reportedly killed by an officer who fired from the passenger seat of a squad car as the woman stood outside the driver’s door.

Authorities released no details about what led to the shooting of Justine Damond, whose fiance said she had called 911 to report what she believed was a sexual assault in an alley near her home.

Police said officers were responding to a call about a possible assault late Saturday when she was killed. There were no known witnesses other than the two officers in the squad car that showed up. A newspaper report said Damond was shot while standing alongside the car in her pajamas.

Her fiancé, Don Damond, said the family has been given almost no additional information about what happened after police arrived.

“We’ve lost the dearest of people, and we’re desperate for information,” he said. “Piecing together Justine’s last moments before the homicide would be a small comfort as we grieve this tragedy.”

Damond’s family members in Australia also released a statement Monday through Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, saying they “are trying to come to terms with this tragedy and to understand why this has happened.”

Authorities did not release the woman’s name, but the Star Tribune identified her as Damond, from Sydney, Australia. The newspaper reported that she was engaged to be married in August and was using her fiance’s last name. Her maiden name was Justine Ruszczyk.

Almost two days after her death, police offered no public explanation and referred questions to the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which was investigating. A Monday statement from the BCA said more information would be provided once the officers were interviewed.

The BCA said Monday that no weapons were found at the scene.

Local media identified the…

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