The identities of Minneapolis police officers, who fatally shot an Australian woman after she called 911 on last weekend, have been released.
Minnesota state officials released the identities on Tuesday (18 July) night and have also launched an internal affairs review of the officers' use of force, ABC reported.
Matthew Harrity, who has been with the Minneapolis Police Department for one year, and Mohamed Noor, who has been in service for 21 months, were the responding officers to the scene after 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk called emergency services after hearing a noise near her home.
But instead of getting help, she was shot dead, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) said in a press release.
The department said in the statement that on the night of 15 July, Harrity was driving the force car, while Noor was in the passenger seat. When the duo reached the woman's house, Harrity indicated that he was shocked by a loud sound near the car, after which Ruszczyk immediately approached the driver's side.
In response to that, Noor instantly fired his weapon, hitting Ruszczyk through the driver's side window, which was open at that time, the DPS said. It also said that the officers, soon realising their mistake, provided medical assistance to Ruszczyk until Emergency Medical Service (EMS) arrived, but she succumbed to her injuries.
It was later confirmed on Monday evening by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office that Ruszczyk died because of the single gunshot wound to her abdomen.
It was also found that neither officer had activated a body camera during the shooting, and the dashboard camera was also off. Why police officers did not turn on their cameras is a "key question" for investigators, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said, despite the official policy laying down that officers must wear their cameras while on duty.
Meanwhile, the DPS said that Harrity was questioned on Tuesday, but it added that Noor had declined to be interviewed and it was also found that the Minnesota DPS Bureau of Criminal Apprehension – the team investigating the case – cannot compel Noor to testify.
"We all want answers, we all want justice to be done ... I wish he would make that statement," Hodges said at press conference, calling the death "tragic".