Australian life coach Justine Damond Ruszczyk breathless and sounded concerned when she phoned the 911 emergency line minutes before she was fatally shot by a US police officer, according to audio of the call.
Audio recordings of Ms Damond’s two 911 calls were made public on Friday (Australian time), as a Minneapolis judge began granting access to the exhibits shown in the recent trial of former officer Mohamed Noor.
The transcripts had been previously released back in 2017 but it’s the first time the public has been able to hear her calls to police.
Noor, 33, was this month convicted on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of the 40-year-old.
Ms Damond, a dual Australian-US citizen, called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home in July 2017.
Listen to the two calls here:
In the first call, she can be heard saying a woman sounded distressed and she thought she heard the word “help”.
Ms Damond called back eight minutes later to ensure police had the right address. She was told officers were on the way.
The former Sydney resident went to meet the police car and was shot by Noor, who was sitting in the front passenger seat.
He and his partner said they were startled by Ms Damond.
Police body-cam footage worn by Sergeant Shannon Barnette has also been released, showing ambulance paramedics on the scene and Noor’s partner at the time Officer Matthew Harrity explaining his version of what let to the fatal shooting of Ms Damond.
“We had that call over here, someone was screaming in the back. We pulled up here, um, we were about ready to just clear and go to another call,” Officer Harrity is heard saying on the video.
“She just came up out of nowhere, on the side of the thing and we both got spooked. I had my gun out, I didn’t fire and then Noor pulled out and fired.”
Here is body worn camera footage as Sgt Shannon Barnette approaches Noor partner Matthew Harrity in the minutes after the shooting. Harrity describes what happened. Sgt Barnette also visits with Noor, who is sitting in a squad. #NoorTrial #justinedamond pic.twitter.com/XLy0TzzaRx
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) May 23, 2019
Ms Damond’s family filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and received a record $US20 million ($29 million) settlement.