News State New South Wales Friends shed a tide of tears for slain Justine Damond at Sydney beach memorial

Friends shed a tide of tears for slain Justine Damond at Sydney beach memorial

Friends and family gather in sombre silence on Freshwater Beach to mark the first anniversary of Justine Damon's death. Photo: AAP/Paul Braven
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Family and friends have gathered at a Sydney beach to remember Justine Ruszczyk Damond who was shot dead in a US alley by a Minneapolis police officer a year ago.

Holding pink flowers, dozens of people huddled around a large candlelit heart on the sand at Freshwater Beach, near Manly, at sunrise on Sunday to remember the 40-year-old former Sydneysider.

Ms Damond was shot on the night of July 15 last year after she called 911 to report hearing a woman’s screams.

Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor shot her dead when she approached his police car in the alley.

Mohamed Noor Justine Damond
Former US police officer Mohamed Noor has been charged with Justine’s death. Photo: AAP

Noor was charged by prosecutors in March with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Justine’s dad, John Ruszczyk, holds back his tears at the dawn memorial on Freshwater Beach. Photo: Sunrise/Twitter

Her Sydney-based father John Ruszczyk spoke briefly on Sunday, saying he was waiting for justice.

“On the way to the beach this morning, the kookaburras were laughing. When we got here we experienced this beautiful sunrise and Justine, because of her senseless killing, will never see the sunrise or hear the kookaburras again,” he told Network Seven.

“Our communities here at Freshwater and Minneapolis are waiting for judgments.”

In the US, Ms Damond’s fiance and friends held a similar vigil in Minneapolis, where a park bench was dedicated to the memory of the beloved meditation teacher.