Still Seeking Answers, Friends & Family Mourn Justine Damond’s Death

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There’s an enormous demand for answers into the details of Justine Damond’s death at the hand of Minneapolis police both here in Minnesota and in her native Australia.

As friends of Damond’s gathered this week to mourn in her home country, her family issued a written statement Thursday, saying: “We are still trying to come to terms with this tragedy…struggling to understand how and why this could happen.”

Damond was shot late Saturday night by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor. It happened as she walked up to the squad car she’d requested after reporting a possible sexual assault outside her south Minneapolis home.

“It’s still a shock. Four, five days [later], I still wake up in the morning, and, if you could pick one person that would be the exact opposite of anything to do with violence and guns and death…it would be Justine,” said her friend, Tom Hyder.

He and his wife, Carole, were close friends of Damond when she moved to Minnesota.

“She’s a helper, she’d walk through fire…that’s just who she is, she’d be there in pajamas, it wouldn’t matter,” Carole Hyder said.

Five days after the shooting, Damond’s friends are still struggling to understand how it happened.

“She was puzzled about something,” said Sharon Hills-Bonczyk, Damond’s friend. “You know, the culture of guns in this country was very perplexing, and she couldn’t understand that because it was so different than where she came from.”

Noor’s attorney, Tom Plunkett, also gave a statement Thursday, saying that Noor has no plans to talk with investigators.

However, he could be forced to give a statement if there’s a garrity – where an employee can be ordered to give a statement.

Plunkett also wants a coroner’s report with an outside lab, saying “it would be nice to know if there were some Ambien in [Damond’s] system.”

On that, he didn’t elaborate.

More from Bill Hudson
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