Australian bride-to-be killed in questionable U.S police shooting

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-18 04:33:46|Editor: yan
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WASHINGTON, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Investigators are probing a fatal shooting of an Australian woman by a Minneapolis police officer late Saturday night in the U.S. state of Minnesota, authorities have said.

The shooting occurred as two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call of a possible assault just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the city's Fulton neighborhood, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) revealed in a press release Sunday.

At one point, an officer opened fire, fatally striking a woman, the release said. "The BCA's investigation is in its very early stages."

"More information will be available once initial interviews with incident participants and any witnesses are complete," it added.

The woman was later identified in news reports as 40-year-old Justine Damond, an Australian national living in Minneapolis.

Her maiden name was Ruszczky but she went by her fiance's last name before their marriage in August. Damond is reportedly the one who made the emergency call before being fatally shot by one of the responding officers.

The pair of police officers were wearing body cameras but neither of them had turned on their body camera before the shooting. The BCA said they are still attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists.

Both officers were put on a standard administrative leave. A medical examiner office will conduct an autopsy.

"As mayor of our city, a wife, and a grandmother, I am heartsick and deeply disturbed," Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a press release Sunday. She promised to get and share as much information as she could with the public.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it is offering consular assistance to Damond's family.

Besides, a memorial is held near the spot where Damond was shot and killed.

The incident comes a year after motorist Philando Castile was shot several times at a traffic stop by a Minnesota officer.

The deadly police-involved shooting sparked nationwide outrage and protests. Police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted but left the department with a payment of 48,500 U.S. dollars, while Castile's family received a 3-million-dollar settlement to avoid a federal civil rights lawsuit.