MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A family on the city’s southwest side feels heartbroken and left in the dark following a deadly-officer involved shooting.

They say police are giving them little information while the BCA continues to investigate the death of Justine Damond.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says the 40-year-old died from a gunshot wound to the stomach in an alley near her southwest Minneapolis home late Saturday night.

Her loved ones said she called 911 after hearing what she thought was a sexual assault in the alley. Moments later, a responding officer shot and killed her from inside his squad car.

Standing on the block where he’s lived for 19 years, Joe Burns can’t recall a time when he’s seen such a swarm of journalists packing the street let alone the tragic reason why.

“We haven’t ever had anything like this happen,” he said.

Saturday night, Justine Damond was shot and killed at the end of the alley near 51st Street West, not far from a chalk-drawn heart outlining her name.

Burns lost a neighbor. The spiritual community lost a healer. Don Damond lost his fiancé.

“We are desperate for information,” Don said during a news conference outside his home. “Piecing together Justine’s last moments before the homicide would be a small comfort as we grieve this tragedy.”

WCCO learned Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor and his partner Matthew Harrity responded to the 911 call that Damond’s family said she made that night.

(credit: Minneapolis Police Department)

WCCO also learned that when she approached the squad car, Officer Noor reached across his partner in the driver’s seat, then shot and killed Damond.

Both officers had body cameras but they weren’t turned on.

“We all know that having video evidence is very helpful,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

While he wouldn’t comment directly on the case, Freeman said if officers have body cameras he would like them to be turned on.

“As a person involved criminal justice system, I want all the evidence I can get all the time. So if the (officer) has the camera on, that’s going to add additionally to the information I have,” he said when it comes to determining if charges should be filed in a case.

Freeman said he understands people want the case to move quickly and that the investigation is still in the early stages.

But its pace is hurting Damond’s family and leaving neighbors wondering how to move forward.

“I’m not afraid to call 911 but maybe some people are,” said Burns. “I mean (Damond) did everything right. And so next time you hear something out in the alley maybe you call a neighbor, maybe you call a friend.”

Both officers involved in the case are on administrative leave.

The BCA said once it finishes its interviews with the officers, more information will be released.

Officer Noor’s attorney Thomas Plunkett released a statement. He said in part:

“Officer Noor extends his condolences to the family and anyone else who has been touched by this event.  He takes their loss seriously and keeps them in his daily thoughts and prayers.  He came to the US at a young age and is thankful to have had so many opportunities.  He takes these events very seriously because for him being a police officer is a calling.  He entered the police force to serve the community and to protect the people he serves.  Officer Noor is a caring person with a family he loves and he empathized with the loss others are experiencing.  The current environment for police is difficult but Officer Noor accepts this as part of his calling.  We would like to say more and will in the future.  At this time however, there are several investigations that are ongoing.  More importantly Officer Noor wants to respect the privacy of the family and asks the same in return during this difficult period.”

Somali Community Reacts

Noor was the first Somali-American officer to join the Minneapolis Police Department’s 5th Precinct team. He joined the department in March 2015. Before that, he worked in property management.

Mohamud Noor, who has no direct relation to the officer involved in the shooting, is the executive director of the Confederation of the Somali Community in Minnesota.

“There is a shock that is happening that a Somali police officer shot and killed a woman in Minneapolis,” Noor said. “When he joined the force, everyone was excited. We’re all excited when police officers look like the people that they serve. It opens a big door, whereby you feel welcome, you can trust, build that relationship. But this tragedy that happened separates that relationship from what the people are expecting.”

Officer Noor and Officer Harrity have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure following an officer-involved shooting.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

Comments (178)

  2. Sickening. How much abuse of power has to occur in this country before we stop and realize that we need to have new ways to screen our officers? Not just initial screenings on hire of background and mental status, but reviewed monthly, and verified yearly. When soldiers are in combat, they end up with PTSD and require treatment. Do we not consider this possibility out on the streets? Open your eyes!!

  3. obbop says:

    To end the ongoing madness sending the USA into the abyss of self-destruction will it require a military coup followed by a military dictatorship to righten the “ship of state” and get us sailing on a steady course again THEN reverting back to citizen control. I can not envision any other way to repair what can not be fixed within the constraints of the present corrupted-beyond-repair political/governmental systems.

  4. I am waiting for more information from the BCA

  5. Did a beautiful female Caucasian with a foreign accent trigger Noor’s subliminal Somalian terrorist impulse to destroy the enemy? You know, like wavng a red cape at a snorting bull? Who vetted this obviously disturbed individual?

  6. This is what happens when you give Muslim trash a badge, and gun. Muslim males have no respect for women, so no one should be surprised by this.

  7. Rebal Blaze says:

    If this officer can’t tell a woman in PJ’s holding a cellphone from perp with a gun, he needs to be fired, not put on paid leave!

  8. I’m sure his shooting this beautiful blonde woman has nothing to do with 1) her rejecting him; 2) her rejecting him ; 3) religious prejudice (on his part); 4) her being too pretty for him. Let’s count the ways in which Canada hates its women, because “feminism in the current year!” Let them all in from the medieval fortress!

    1. obbop says:

      Heather, what news story did you read? Did you read the one above? Or did you just toss out implanted knee-jerk rhetoric?

  9. Make sure they get their story just right, would hate to offend someone.

  10. Was Noor under qualified to hold the position he held and simply fast tracked and maintained as a LEO to demonstrate diversity to the community? I don’t see how this can happen unless he was woefully incompetent or had nefarious intent.

  11. I predict that the PC gods will decide that nothing should be allowed to sully the career of the first Somali police officer. It will be announced that she made some furtive gesture while reaching into her PJs, and Officer Noor will be hailed as a hero for saving his partner’s life.

  12. Don Stephen says:

    These people have been brought here specifically to kill you, to murder you. They don’t know it but those that brought them here do.

  13. Time to get your guns and rid America of muslims. Let’s start with Somalis in Minneapolis. Enough is enough.

    1. The day is coming when it will be open season on them.

  14. A woman in PJ’s, not wearing burka, hijab (The Qur’an instructs Muslim women to dress modestly. Some Islamic legal systems define this type of modest clothing as covering everything except the face, hands up to wrists, and feet. These guidelines are found in texts of hadith and fiqh developed after the revelation of the Qur’an.) So, a Somali Muslim see’s a beautiful woman disrespecting the Qur’an, and in a fit of rage kills her…my version..

  15. Yeah he is done. I can with certainty that he will be convicted unanimously. Too bad because I swore #bluelivesmattered If a black officer shoots a white women, ya’ll racists abandon him. What a joke!

  16. Police work is an incredibly stressful and dangerous line of work, especially in the current climate of increased violence directed at cops. It’s not unreasonable to presume that cops currently have a heightened state of vigilance. Remember, mother of three and NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia was just murdered sitting in her vehicle. It’s easy to second-guess over days and weeks what an officer had mere seconds to decide in the moments that he fears for his life. Instead of jumping to conclusions, let’s allow the police an opportunity to do their job. If there is any misconduct, I’m sure the police will forward the case to the District Attorney who will present it to a grand jury. That’s how it works in America. Trust in the system.

  17. Average I.Q. in Somalia is 68. Think about that for a minute.

  18. Bernie Busch says:

    Putting a Somali (Average Somalian IQ is 68) into a policeman’s uniform and giving him a loaded weapon is a BAD idea!

  19. Johnny Davis says:

    He is a Somali and AFIRMITIVE ACTION Officer that most likely very much struggled with the English language and basic reading and writing skills. To emulate the false prophet Mohammad is a Muslims highest calling. Prophet Mohammad was a Marauding Murderer, Terrorist, Pedophile, Thief and Liar and enacted the Koran. Bla, bla bla bla bla, says Police Officer Mohamed Noor, bla bla…..

  20. We must make an example of this Mayor and the Police Chief. Both should be fired and never allowed to hold public office of responsibility. They have proven themselves criminally incompetent allowing such an animal to wear a uniform and carry a gun. Their retirements and perks should be cancelled. As long as America rolls over and allows this Mayor and Police Chief to “thumb their nose” at their oath of office to “protect and defend” in favor of Political Correctness, American citizens will always be victims of their own government.

  21. Why are these people being allowed to come into our country? We need to recognize that Islam poses a threat to the very fabric of our civilization. As a woman, I am outraged and revolted that these twisted creeps are allowed to come here and build mosques and aggressively promote their agenda. This muslim saw a lovely, blonde woman in her pajamas and murdered her because she was not following the rules of his pedophile god.

  22. Oscar Tapia says:

    deport him back to his terrorist country !!