Minnesota authorities are investigating a shooting incident in which police officers shot and killed an Australian woman in Minneapolis on Saturday.
The deceased was identified as Justine Damond.
The incident happened when the officers were responding to a 911 call about a possible assault Saturday night. The officers did not have their body cameras on during the incident, according to the Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Officials said were looking into the circumstances of the incident and the reason the officers had not kept their body cams on, as is the protocol during such incidents.
"Two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call of a possible assault just north of the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday," a statement by the State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said. "At one point an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman."
Justine, originally Justine Ruszczyk, 40, from Sydney, was about to get married next month to American Don Damond, and had taken on his name. Damond is vice president and manager of Little Six Casino in Minnesota, according to Australian news media reports. Damond's son Zach Damond said Justine had "heard a noise in the alley and called the police."
"She was out on 51st Street and she was shot," Zach said. He said Justine, who he referred to as his mother, was "passionate" and his "best friend."
"Basically my mum was shot for reasons I don’t know," Zach said in a video posted after the incident Sunday. "I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence," he added.
Justine taught yoga and meditation, and also ran Tuesday night classes on meditation for the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community in Minnesota, which claims itself to be a "a center for conscious living," according to their official website.
Justine's bio on the website says she was "originally trained as a Veterinary Surgeon." The Australian woman had also studied and practiced meditation and yoga for almost 17 years. The site's bio for Justine also claimed she "is a qualified yoga instructor, a personal health & life coach (EFT, Theta and Re-connective Healing practitioner) and meditation teacher."
As the news of the shooting spread, women activists in Minnesota held vigils in Justine’s memory July 16 and demanded proper investigation into the incident. A Facebook page called Women's March Minnesota posted a video on Sunday and said, "We demand justice!"
Justine had her own website, justinedamond.com, which was meant for her healing activities, and where she asked people to "discover your brain. Master your mind. Open your heart."
"Great advances in science over the last 20 years or so have seen us finally begin to unravel some of the extraordinary mysteries of the human brain and body. We are discovering the exquisite intricacies of not only how the brain functions, but also how it interacts with the heart and the body," it reads further.
Minneapolis police said the two officers who were involved in the shooting were sent on paid administrative leave, standard protocol and procedure after such an incident. The shooting was called "tragic" by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, who also held a news conference at City Hall on Sunday afternoon over the incident.