Australian woman shot dead by US police after calling 911 to report a disturbance

An Australian woman living in Minnesota was shot dead by police when she called to report a disturbance near her home.

Justine Ruszczyk called police to the home she shared with her fiancé, who she was due to marry next month, at 11:30pm on Saturday night.

The 40-year-old died when police opened fire.

Minneapolis police are investigating, but their work has been hampered because the officers’ body cameras were switched off. The police department said the squad car’s camera also failed to capture the incident.

The officer who fired the fatal shots was named on Monday as Mohamed Noor, who became the Minneapolis police department’s first Somali-American officer when he joined in March 2015.

Tom Plunkett, his lawyer, confirmed his client fired his weapon, according to CBS Minnesota.

“We take this seriously with great compassion for all persons who are being touched by this,” said Mr Plunkett.

Local news in Minnestota reported that Mr Noor was seated in the passenger seat and his partner in the driver’s seat when he opened fire, hitting her multiple times. 

He and his partner have been placed on administrative leave.

Zach Damond, her fiance’s son, she had called the police after hearing a noise near her home.

“My mum is dead, because a police officer shot her, for reasons I don’t know, and I demand answers” he said in a tearful Facebook Live video. 

“I guess she thought that something bad was happening and, next thing I know, they take my best friend’s life.”

A vigil on Sunday for an Australian woman killed by police in Minnesota Credit: Alamy

Miss Ruszczyk was born in Sydney but moved to the US about three years ago to be with her fiancé, Don. 

The Australian reported that she hated America’s gun culture, but made the move to be with the American businessman she called the “handsome, hilarious, rockstar love of my life”.

Mr Damond, 50, was returning from a business trip and was being picked up by his son Zach when the shooting occurred.


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