Australian woman shot by Minnesota police reported possible sexual assault, 911 transcript shows
Justine Damond called 911 to report what she believed to be a sexual assault happening nearby, according to a 911 transcript obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. (Stephen Govel/www.stephengovel.com via AP)
Justine Damond, the Australian woman living in Minneapolis who was shot and killed by a police officer, spent her final moments trying to help stop what she believed was a sexual assault happening nearby, according to her newly released 911 call.
At 11:27 p.m. Saturday night, Damond called police to report that a woman was screaming, a transcript of the call obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune showed.
“I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped,” Damond told the 911 operator. “I think she just yelled out ‘help,’ but it’s difficult, the sound has been going on for a while, but I think, I don’t think she’s enjoying it.”
“OK,” the operator reportedly said. “I’ve already got an officer on the way.”
Eight minutes later, Damond called the emergency line again, to confirm her location and to make sure an officer was on the way.
The operator said officers were on the way to the scene.
One of the responding officers, Mohamed Noor, shot Damond when he arrived. His partner, Matthew Harrity, told investigators that he heard a loud sound right before Damond approached Harrity on the driver’s side of the car.
A lawyer for Harrity told the Tribune that "it’s certainly reasonable" the officers thought they were being ambushed.
“It’s certainly reasonable to assume that any police officer would be concerned about a possible ambush under these circumstances,” the lawyer, Fred Bruno, said. “It was only a few weeks ago when a female NYPD cop and mother of twins was executed in her car in a very similar scenario.”
Miosotis Familia, an officer with the New York City Police Department, was shot in the line of duty earlier this month.
Minneapolis police are now searching for a mystery bicyclist, who may be the only witness to Damond’s shooting.