Police officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor eased their patrol vehicle into the alley of the quiet south Minneapolis neighborhood late Saturday, the squad’s lights off as they responded to a report of a possible assault.
Near the end of the alley, a “loud sound” startled Harrity. A moment later, Justine Damond, the woman who had called 911, approached the driver’s side of the squad car. Suddenly a surprise burst of gunfire blasted past Harrity as Noor fired through the squad’s open window, striking Damond in the abdomen.
The two officers began lifesaving efforts, but within 20 minutes Damond was dead.
That rudimentary account of her death, released Tuesday by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, is based on an interview that Harrity, 25, a one-year veteran of the force, gave to BCA investigators about a case that has become a focus of national and international attention. Noor so far has refused to talk to investigators and there is no indication when or if he might tell his side of the story.
The fatal shooting of Damond, a 40-year-old spiritual healer from Australia who was engaged to be married, has stirred community unrest toward police and calls from family and friends for an explanation as to why Noor, 31, shot her.
The new information from the BCA does not fully answer those questions but it offers a timeline of what happened that night. The BCA said Noor’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, has not indicated whether the officer will give an interview. Plunkett did not respond to a request for comment. Harrity’s attorney, Fred Bruno, confirmed he was representing Harrity but did not comment further.
The agency released the first account of what happened that night based on a Tuesday interview with officer Matthew Harrity, 25, who was driving. Officer Mohamed Noor, who fired, has not talked with investigators.