Warrant cites ‘slapping’ noise prior to Damond shooting

July 26 (UPI) — Minneapolis officials say a “slapping” sound against a police car was heard in the moments before Justine Damond was fatally shot, according to a court document.

Damond, 40, a native of Australia, was fatally shot on July 15 after she called 911 to report a possible assault near her home. When officers arrived, one of them shot her in the abdomen.

A search warrant filed Monday suggests the unarmed Damond may have been the source of the slapping sound.

“Upon police arrival, a female ‘slaps’ the back of the patrol squad,” the warrant, used by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to search the area of the shooting, states. “After that, it is unknown to BCA agents what exactly happened, but the female became deceased in the alley.”

It is presumed that the female mentioned in the warrant refers to Damond, who also used the name Justrine Ruszczyk. The warrant suggests that she struck the police car with her hand, then approached the driver’s door, where she was shot by officer Mohamed Noor as he sat in the front passenger seat.

However, the warrant does not make clear whether that was the same noise that officer Matthew Harrity said startled him in the moments before the shooting. It also does not expressly state that it was Damond who slapped the vehicle.

Noor and Harrity are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Damond’s shooting prompted debate about police methods in Minneapolis, and led to the resignation on Friday of Police Chief Janee Harteau. It’s also become a major news story worldwide.


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