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Update: Justine Damond's fiance says he is 'desperate for information'

Don Damond says his family's hearts are broken.
Author:

Update: 4 p.m.

The fiance of Justine Damond has spoken for the first time about her death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Speaking outside his home on Washburn Avenue South and West 51st Street in Fulton, Don Damond said he and his family are "utterly devastated" by her death, which occurred on Saturday night.

He revealed that the 40-year-old Australian native, to whom he was due to marry next month, called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home. But shortly after police arrived she was shot dead by an officer.

Damond said his family has been "provided with almost no additional information regarding what happened when police arrived," and implored authorities to release more details about her final moments, which he said would provide some comfort to them.

"We have lost the dearest of people, we are desperate for information," he added.

Reports emerged on Monday that Damond was wearing her pajamas and talking to a police officer through the squad car window when the officer in the passenger seat opened fire.

"Our hearts are broken," Don Damond told the waiting media. "We are utterly devastated by the loss of Justine."

A meditation leader at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, Don Damond said his fiancee "taught so many people with her loving and generous heart."

"Our lives are forever changed as a result of knowing her. She was so kind and so darn funny."

Update: 2:30 p.m.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau has commented on the death of Justine Damond by a police officer, describing her death as "tragic."

In a statement Monday afternoon, Harteau and said she understands why people have questions regarding the circumstances of her shooting, such as why neither officer had their bodycams operating.

"I want to acknowledge the pain and frustration that family and community members have following the fatal officer involved shooting on Saturday night. This is clearly a tragic death," she said.

"I also want to assure you that I understand why so many people have so many questions at this point. I have many of the same questions and it is why we immediately asked for an external and independent investigation into the officer-involved shooting death," she added.

"I've asked for the investigation to be expedited to provide transparency and to answer as many questions as quickly as we can."

Media reports have identified the officer believed to have shot Damond as Mohamed Noor, who joined the force in 2015 and was the first Somali-American officer to join Minneapolis' 5th precinct.

Original story below.

The death of Justine Damond at the hands of Minneapolis police has shocked the Fulton neighborhood and all those who knew her in her native Australia.

The 40-year-old was shot dead Saturday night, apparently after placing a call to police to report a possible disturbance near her home in the 5000 block of Washburn Ave. S.

On Sunday evening, more than 200 mourners gathered at the end of the alleyway where she died to share stories of a kind, loving woman who left a positive impression on everyone she met.

Who was Justine Damond?

Damond had moved to Minneapolis from Sydney, Australia, after getting engaged to Don Damond, who has a 22-year-old son named Zach, according to the Star Tribune.

Justine and Don, who is the vice president and general manager of the Little Six Casino in Prior Lake, were due to be married next month.

Justine refers to herself as Damond on her personal website, with the Star Tribune noting her maiden name is Justine Ruszczyk.

She was a speaker and meditation leader at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, based on Upton Avenue South, which on Sunday described her as "one of the most loving people you will ever meet."

She originally trained as a veterinarian, with her Facebook page noting she's a graduate of the University of Sydney. And according to her website, she also studied and practiced yoga and meditation for 17 years, eventually becoming a qualified yoga instructor, personal health and life coach, and meditation teacher.

Her website says she lost much of her family to cancer, noting they also struggled from depression and alcoholism, which motivated her to help people suffering from similar afflictions "to heal and transform themselves."

The website says she spent "many years on a personal investigative journey to discover how habits and disease develop, and how people can change and live in joy, expressing their full potential."

You can watch one of her recent speaking appearances below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbVAmZsLk-A

Tributes to the 40-year-old have been posted and shared widely across social media, as those who knew her pay tribute to the person she was, and express incomprehension at why her life was taken.

"Justine was a vibrant member of our community," Jennifer Russell posted in the Linden Hills Neighborhood Facebook group. "If you didn't know her, she was absolutely beautiful – inside and out. She was kind, loving, generous, peaceful and gentle."

An emotional Zach Damond appeared in a video Sunday morning after his soon-to-be stepmom was killed, describing her as a "very passionate woman" and his "best friend."

Family, community still get no answers

There have been no further release of information from Minneapolis police or the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) as of 10 a.m. Monday regarding the circumstances of Damond's death.

It's been previously revealed that the officers' bodycams were not turned on, so video footage of the incident may not be available. Damond is reported to have heard a disturbance in the alley behind her home which is why she called police.

The Star Tribune said Monday, citing three sources familiar with the information, that Damond – wearing pajamas – went to the driver's side door of the police car and was talking to the driver.

The officer in the passenger seat then allegedly pulled their gun and shot Damond through the driver's side door.

This information has yet to be officially confirmed.

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