Australian woman in Minneapolis fatally shot by police after calling 911
A woman was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer on Saturday after she called 911 to report a possible assault near her home just before midnight, authorities said.
The woman was fatally struck near her home in Minneapolis’ Fulton neighborhood after two police officers responded to the 911 call at around 11:30 p.m., according to authorities.
Officials have not released the woman’s identity, but ABC’s Minnesota affiliate KSTP identified her as a 40-year-old Australian native who had been living in the area with her fiancé. The two were planning to get married next month, according to KSTP.
"My mom is dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don't know," Damond’s stepson, Zach Damond, told KSTP on Sunday.
The Minneapolis Police Department told ABC News on Sunday that both officers had been placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the incident along with the MPD, said that the officers’ body cameras and the squad camera were not on at the time of the shooting. Investigators are working to determine whether any video of the incident exists, the department said.
The BCA said the investigation is in its "very early stages" and more information will become available "once initial interviews with incident participants and any witnesses are complete,” according to a statement released Sunday.
The department said the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office would conduct an autopsy to determine the woman’s identity and cause of death. It said the information would be released after her family had been notified.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called the shooting a "tragedy” in a statement released late Sunday.
"Tonight, I’m sad, and disturbed. This is a tragedy—for the family, for a neighborhood I know well, and for our whole city,” Hodges said. “My thoughts are with the family and the community.”
More than 300 people gathered for a vigil on Sunday evening near the site of the shooting.
"Policing, the concept, is an unchecked variable in this nation," one vigil attendee said, according to ABC affiliate KSTP. "What we need to do is be together, and what they've spent centuries doing is keeping us apart."
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it is providing consular assistance to the woman's family and released a statement on the family's behalf.
"This is a very difficult time for our family. We are trying to come to terms with this tragedy and to understand why this has happened," the statement said. "We will not make any further comment or statement and ask that you respect our privacy. Thank you"