According to state investigators, a witness has been located who was nearby when Justine Damond was shot by a Minneapolis police officer. The witness, who was seen biking nearby immediately before the shooting had stopped and watched officers perform CPR. The unidentified witness “has been cooperative and provided an interview today,” according to a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension news release.
A source with direct knowledge of the investigation said the witness filmed part of the encounter.
The agency asked anyone else who may have witnessed the Saturday night shooting to contact the BCA at 651-793-7000.
Justine Damond, 40, a spiritual healer from Australia, was shot by Officer Mohamed Noor after police responded to her 911 call about a possible sexual assault.
Officer Matthew Harrity, who was with Noor at the time of the shooting has been interviewed by Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators. According to Harrity, they were driving south through the alley, behind Damon’s house where the sexual assault was reported, with the squad lights turned off. At the moment they reached the end of the alley he heard a “loud sound” and Damond approached the driver’s side window of the squad car “immediately afterward.” Noor, who was in the passenger seat, fired past Harrity through the open driver’s side window, striking Damond in the abdomen. She died 20 minutes later.
At the request of the mayor, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau announced her resignation Friday afternoon in the aftermath of the officer-involved shooting of Justine Damond. Mayor Betsy Hodges said she would nominate Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo, a 28-year veteran of the force, to replace Harteau.
Resignation Statement from Chief Harteau. Click to read…..https://t.co/8vlzO2IQlS
— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) July 21, 2017
The killing of Damond, along with other high-profile officer-involved shootings, has generated public skepticism about the department and it’s training. Called into question why the officers body cameras weren’t recording at the time of the shooting. Mayor Betsy Hodges issued a statement immediately after the resignation, saying she has “lost confidence in the Chief’s ability to lead us further — and from the many conversations I’ve had with people around our city, especially this week, it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well.” Then adding, “In conversation with the Chief today, she and I agreed that she would step aside to make way for new leadership. I asked Chief Harteau for her resignation, she tendered it, and I have accepted it,” Hodges said.
The investigation continues. The BCA said forensic testing continues, the agency continues to brief Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, whose office will make the decision on whether to charge Noor. No further updates are planned until the case is forwarded to the county attorney, the agency said.