'You have stolen my daughter,' Justine Damond's dad says at memorial service

Hundreds of people gathered for a memorial service Friday evening.
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Hundreds of people gathered at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis Friday evening to remember Justine Damond, the woman shot to death by police last month. 

Damond's father, John Ruszczyk, flew in from Australia and was among several to speak at the memorial.

"I should have been on a plane to her wedding, but we were flying to her funeral," Ruszczyk said, his hands trembling.

"This is our first visit to Minneapolis. We should be walking arm in arm down the streets smiling and laughing," he added. 

Ruszczyk went on to share some memories of his daughter. Like how she was compassionate and a great story-teller. 

He noted how his daughter also had a great love for animals and was a strong believer in what she called, "fuzz therapy" – or spending time with pets. 

"I want Justine to be here, but she’s been taken from us," he said. 

Seeking justice

While the majority of the service was remembering the 40-year-old Australia native, Ruszczyk made a point to say he'd be seeking justice for the death of his daughter. 

"You have stolen my daughter and ripped her from our arms,” he said.

She was to marry her fiancé, Don Damond, this Thursday.

Damond was fatally shot July 15 after calling 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home in south Minneapolis.

Search warrants say a woman slapped the officers' squad car before Officer Mohamed Noor fired his weapon, killing Damond.

The Hennepin County Attorney will decide whether Noor faces criminal charges in this case, according to WCCO.

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