Watch CBSN Live

Family of Australian woman shot dead by officer demands more rigorous probe

SYDNEY -- The family of an Australian woman who was fatally shot by a police officer in Minnesota in July has demanded a more rigorous probe into the incident after a prosecutor cast doubts on the investigation.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman last week said investigators "haven't done their job" in relation to the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond by Officer Mohamed Noor in Minneapolis.

Reading a statement to media in Sydney, Damond's father John Ruszczyk said Thursday that his family is deeply concerned about the possibility that "the initial investigation was not done properly, and with the greatest integrity or sense of completeness."

He said they "implore Mr Freeman and the prosecutor's office to continue to pursue a rigorous investigation and examination of evidence of the events leading to Justine's death." 

John Ruszczyk (2/L), the father of Australian woman Justine Damond killed in a police shooting in the US, is accompanied by his wife Maryan Heffernan (L), son Jason Ruszczyk (2/R) and his wife Katarina Ruszczyk (R) as he speaks at a press conference in Sydney on December 21, 2017. William West/AFP/Getty Images

Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot Damond on July 15 after she called police to report a possible sexual assault near her house. Damond, who was engaged to be married, was shot as she approached the squad car that Noor and his partner were in. Damond's death drew international attention and led to the forced resignation of the city's police chief. 

Noor's partner, Matthew Harrity, who was driving the police vehicle at the time, told investigators that he was startled by a loud sound near the cruiser and, immediately afterward, Damond approached the driver's side window. Harrity told agents that Noor fired his weapon from the passenger seat, hitting Damond.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.