A holistic doctor, who had called 911 to report a suspected assault in an alleyway near to her home, was shot and killed by police officers who responded to the call.
Both of the officers who arrived on the scene had switched their body cams off before attending to the call, but witness reports say Justine Damond was waiting on the doorstep of her home in her pajamas for the police to arrive, but when the cop car pulled up, the officer in the passenger side leaned over the driver and opened fire through the side window without warning, killing her instantly.
The officer who killed Ms. Damond has been named as Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American who joined the police department in March 2015.
Justine Damond grew up in Sydney Australia and located in the United States to be with her fiancé in Minneapolis.
Ms. Damond was a spiritual healer who helped people suffering from cancer and severe depression.
On her Linkin profile she describes her self as a; “Speaker, Coach & Consultant for Neuroscience & Meditation Based Change Initiatives.
”She was also known as an activist who spoke out against the threat of big pharmaceutical companies.Close friend Julie Reed, who had known Damond for 32 years, said it was a very difficult time for her friends and family:
“They are trying to come to terms with this tragedy and to understand why this has happened,” Ms. Reed said Ms. Damond was “treasured and we will really miss her”. “She was a veterinary surgeon, qualified, and she went overseas and she worked spiritually to heal other people with their medical problems in the United States.“
Absolutely (she made a difference to a lot of lives), especially ours. We have had a joyous relationship with her up until now.
“(We will remember her for) her energy, her intelligence and the joy she bought to our lives.
Telegraph reports: Ms. Damond was killed on Saturday night in what Minneapolis police called an “officer-involved shooting” after she called 911 to report a possible assault in an alley outside her home.
The Star Tribune has reported she was waiting dressed in her pajamas when the police car arrived and she was shot.
The 40-year-old took the name of the man she was about to marry, Don Damond, who is vice president and manager of Little Six Casino in Minnesota.
A former resident of Manly, Ms. Damond relocated to Minneapolis to live with her fiance and 22-year-old stepson Zach.
Zach, whose father was engaged to be married to the Australian in August, said she was shot “for no reason”.
“Basically my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,” he told the Star Tribune.
“I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers,” he added.
“I’m so done with all this violence, America sucks.”Meanwhile, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has demanded to know why the officers’ body cameras were off when Sydney bride-to-be was shot dead.
It is understood Ms. Damond had called police alerting them to a disturbance on Saturday night.
“I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by what happened,” she posted on Facebook.
Friends have begun to pay tribute to on social media.
Tributes have flowed in for Ms. Damond, who grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches. She has been described as “incredible woman” and a “brilliant, well-known, local healer”.
Justine with partner Don Damond and stepson Zach Damond.
“My heart aches for her fiance and mother in law who often accompanied Justine while she taught some profound meditation classes, sound healing classes, and her Sunday messages at Lake Harriet Spiritual Community,” Angela Pederson wrote on Facebook. “I am happy to have known Justine and her untimely, tragic death is a reminder to live life fully, love deeply, and take risks to love as we are not promised tomorrow.”
At the scene where Ms. Damond was shot, locals have gathered for a vigil and left behind messages of support drawn in chalk on the footpath.
Originally trained as a veterinarian, Justine has also studied and practiced yoga and meditation for over 17 years, was a qualified yoga instructor, a personal health, and life coach.
On LinkedIn, the former veterinarian defined herself as a “Speaker, Coach & Consultant for Neuroscience & Meditation Based Change Initiatives.
”She quoted RW Emerson on her website: “Live in the Sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air!”
Her interest in supporting people to heal and transform themselves developed after she saw family members suffer greatly from depression, alcoholism, and cancer.
After losing much of her family to cancer she has spent many years on a personal investigative journey to discover how habits and disease develop.
Alison van Vuuren, who taught Damond a form of counseling known as EFT which the vet graduate went on to practice, said she was in shock.
“I can’t get my mind around how that would have happened, it’s an absolute tragedy,” she said.
The life coach paid tribute to her former student.
“She was a remarkable teacher, so knowledgeable and always there to help other people,” van Vuuren told The Daily Telegraph.“
She practiced EFT to help other people relieve their own trauma and pain. It’s an absolute tragedy,” she said. “After seeing her, I was always left feeling very uplifted. She was humorous, loving, giving and there for anyone. She’d taken on the role of stepmother to her partner’s son, Zach.”
It’s understood that Damond moved to Minnesota to be with her fiance, who she met in Australia and had been dating for five years. She was due to marry the casino manager next month.