Cop charged with Aussie Justine Damond's murder
A POLICE officer in the US has been charged with the murder and manslaughter of Australian woman Justine Damond, whose final words after the shooting last July have been revealed
Ms Damond was unarmed when she was gunned down in her car outside her Minneapolis home.
Officer Mohamed Noor turned himself in on Tuesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter
He shot the 40-year-old on July 15 minutes after she called 911 to report a possible rape in the alley behind her home.
When police didn't respond she called them back and asked them to hurry, and gave them the address again.
The charging documents have revealed Ms Damond grabbed her stomach after being shot and said: "I'm dying" or "I'm dead".
Officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor arrive and drove down the alley behind Damond's house. Mr Harrity - who was driving - was startled by a loud noise near their car.
Ms Damond approached the driver's side window and Noor fired his gun across Harrity, striking Damond in the abdomen through that window of the vehicle.
Despite frantic attempts to save her life, she died at the scene.
The account of what occurred was given to state investigators by Mr Harrity - but Noor refused to be interviewed.
Officer Noor turned himself in at Hennepin County Jail shortly after a warrant was issued for his arrest this morning at Hennepin County District Court.
Court papers show he arrived at jail at 3:16am AEDT and was being held on $650,000 bail.
He is charged with third degree murder "perpetrating eminently dangerous act and evincing depraved mind" and second-degree manslaughter, "culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk."
The court papers revealed the final minutes and the last words of Ms Damond's life.
Officer Harrity told investigators he had removed the safety on his gun before heading into the alley. He said he heard what sounded like a dog when he was behind their home, but didn't see anything.
About two minutes after arriving at the scene, Officer Noor reported a "code 4" to colleagues, indicating he believed they safe and didn't require backup.
Officer Harrity said the pair waited at the end of the alley for a cyclist to pass, and five to seconds later, they both heard a voice like "a muffled voice or a whisper" and a thump behind their squad car and "caught a glimpse of a person's head and shoulders outside his window".
"Officer Harrity said he was startled and said 'Oh sh** or Oh Jesus.' He said he perceived that his life was in danger, reached for his gun, upholstered it, and held it to his rib cage while pointing it downward.
He said from the driver's seat he had a better vantage point to determine a threat than Officer Noor would have had from the passenger seat," the court documents stated.
In his account to police, Officer Harrity he couldn't see the figure's hands and that within seconds he heard a sound and saw a flash. He looked out the window and saw Ms Damond, who had "put her hands on a gunshot wound on the left side of her abdomen and said 'I'm dying' or 'I'm dead'".
Ms Damond's father, John Ruszcyzk, and her fiance, Don Damond, issued a joint statement on behalf of both families. The men applauded the decision to charge Mr Noor "as one step toward justice for this iniquitous act".
They said they were pleased that the investigation appeared diligent and thorough, and they hoped for a conviction.
"No charges can bring our Justine back. However, justice demands accountability for those responsible for recklessly killing the fellow citizens they are sworn to protect, and today's actions reflect that," the statement said.
After the shooting Police Chief Janee Harteau -who initially defended Noor's training - was asked to resign by Mayor Betsy Hodges.
But the announcement of the replacement police chief was not without controversy, when protesters shouted down Ms Hodges at a media conference to introduce the replacement, Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo.