A former Minneapolis police officer “intended” to kill Justine Ruszczyk Damond when he shot the Australian woman multiple times last year, prosecutors argued as they seek a more serious murder count, KID Newsradio said.
Prosecutors said they plan to charge Mohamed Noor with intentional second-degree murder in the death of Damond, who the officer shot and killed in July 2017 after the woman called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.
Damond, 40, formerly of Sydney, was shot dead as she approached Noor’s police vehicle in an alley behind her Minneapolis home just before midnight on July 15, 2017, The Guardian reported.
“There is probable cause to believe the defendant committed second degree intentional murder and the state respectfully requests that the court grant the state’s motion to amend the complaint,” prosecutors wrote in Thursday’s filing, The Guardian said.
“A person acts with the intent to kill not just when they have the purpose of causing death, but also when they believe that their act, if successful, will result in death,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing, according to KID Newsradio. “As a trained police officer, the defendant was fully aware that such a shot would kill Ms. Ruszczyk, a result he clearly intended.”
Noor already faces third-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the slaying. Prosecutors cited new evidence in seeking upgraded charges against Noor, KID Newsradio reported.
Noor, no longer a police officer, is set for a jury trial on April 1, 2019, in Minneapolis, The Guardian said.
Peter Wold, one of Noor’s attorneys, was asked if an additional count would postpone the trial, KID Newsradio said. He said he doubted it.
Prosecutors wrote in their filing that it will be up to a jury to weigh which degree of homicide, if any, is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Damond’s death made international headlines that led to changes in the Minneapolis Police Department, KID Newsradio said. Her father, John Ruszczyk, filed a $50 million civil rights lawsuit against Noor, the city and others.
The StarTribune reported on Noor’s background in a July 18, 2017 story. He moved to the United States from Somalia at a young age. He earned a degree in business administration, management and economics from Augsburg College. Before joining the police department in 2015, he worked in commercial and residential property management in Minneapolis and St. Louis, and was general manager of a hotel in Eden Prairie.
Minneapolis officials lauded his joining the police force in 2015.
At the time of the story’s writing, Noor had two active complaints in his police file, the newspaper said. Another case was closed, and there was a lawsuit against him from his time as an officer, the newspaper said.
Thomas Plunkett, Noor’s attorney, said that the officer “extends his condolences to the family and anyone else who has been touched by this event. He takes their loss seriously and keeps them in his daily thoughts and prayers.”
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