MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Hennepin County judge has granted the addition of an intentional, second-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond last year.
Hennepin County prosecutors requested the addition last week. Before Judge Kathryn L. Quaintance ordered the amendment Friday, Noor was charged with third-degree murder.
In July 2017, Australian native Ruszczyk Damond had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her southwest Minneapolis home. Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor and his partner Matthew Harrity responded to the 911 call. Police say when Ruszczyk Damond approached the squad car, Noor reached across his partner in the driver’s seat, then shot and killed Damond.
Both officers had body cameras, but they weren’t turned on. Prosecutors say Noor fired at Ruszczyk Damond from no more than six feet away, striking her in the torso five inches above her waistline and killing her almost immediately.
Noor’s attorneys say he acted reasonably when he shot Ruszczyk Damond.
However, prosecutors say Noor acted recklessly in using deadly force.
Noor’s trial begins April 1, 2019.