MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A number of relatives of Justine Ruszczyk Damond left the courtroom Thursday during the Mohamed Noor trial after the judge informed them they would soon be showing body cam video.
The former Minneapolis police officer shot and killed Ruszczyk Damond in July 2017. She was shot in an alley near Noor’s squad car. Noor faces murder and manslaughter charges.
On Thursday, Minneapolis police officer Scott Aikins took the stand first. He was the third on the scene that day, and the body cam footage was of his arrival. It showed EMTs performing CPR on the victim.
Aikins said he did not know what was going on when he arrived and wasn’t aware if an officer was involved in the shooting. He helped EMTs by holding gauze on the gunshot wound to her stomach. Someone on the footage is heard saying, “She’s gone,” and, “Are we looking around for a gun here?”
The jury was on the edge of their seats, WCCO’s Reg Chapman reported. Ruszczyk Damond’s father and stepmother stayed in court as the video was shown, but her sister-in-law, brother and fiance left the room.
In court Wednesday, prosecutors played the 911 calls Ruszczyk Damond made to police to report a possible sexual assault. Then, the first people who responded to the scene took the stand, showing jurors pictures and video of where Ruszczyk Damond was shot and killed by the former police officer.
On Tuesday, Assistant County Attorney Patrick Lofton began opening statements by showing photos of Ruszczyk Damond, and noted her final words to her fiancé Don Damond were “OK, the police are here.”
Lofton said 1 minute and 19 seconds later, she said “I’m dying” after being shot. Prosecutors say that Ruszczyk Damond was shot in the lower abdomen, through the open window of the squad car.
A BCA agent who documented the scene said he was never told shots were fired from inside Noor’s squad car.
Wednesday ended with testimony about fingerprints and how forensic scientist lifted them from the hood and side of the squad car.