The Minneapolis cop who shot and killed a 40-year-old woman after she called 9-1-1 to report a possible crime near her home was identified Monday as the precinct’s first Somali-American officer — Mohamed Noor.
Noor has only been a police officer for two years and has already been sued for alleged unprofessional behavior. The May 2017 lawsuit also involved a female and accusations of brutality.
The shooting late Saturday night happened at the end an alley in the city’s Fulton neighborhood.
Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a native of Sydney, Australia, was a veterinarian and a yoga instructor who recently got engaged to longtime boyfriend Don Damond. She and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn.
Her fiance was out of town on business Saturday when she heard a commotion in the alley, then picked up the phone to call 9-1-1 to report a possible sexual assault in progress. She ended up being shot dead by one of the two responding officers.
The city has still not released the identity of the officer who fired multiple shots at Damond through his police-car door. But his name is Mohamed Noor, according to multiple sources cited by local media. Noor joined the force in March 2015 as the first Somali refugee serving in the 5th precinct.
Noor, 31, was born in Somalia.
KSTP, citing a source with direct knowledge of the shooting, reported that Noor was sitting in the passenger seat of the squad car at the time of the shooting and “shot across his partner” at Damond, who approached the officers’ car in her pajamas and began talking to the officer in the driver’s seat.
One of Damond’s friends, who identified herself only by her first name, Hannah, told the Star-Tribune that there was “no way” Damond would have been armed.
“She often talked about how much better it was in Australia, where people aren’t allowed to have guns,” Hannah told the local newspaper.
“This is a very bizarre story,” Debra Anderson, chair of ACT For America’s Minnesota chapter and a resident of Minneapolis. “How could a women in pajamas possibly be perceived as a threat, on the opposite side of the car, no less?”