Officer: Noor fired quickly
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The partner of a Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman testified Thursday that he didn’t fire his own weapon because he hadn’t fully analyzed the possible threat.
Officer Matthew Harrity is a key witness in the trial of Mohamed Noor, who fired a single shot at Justine Ruszczyk Damond as she approached the officers’ squad car on July 15, 2017.
Damond had placed two 911 calls that night to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. Struck in the abdomen, the 40-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia bled to death.
Harrity said as he and Noor responded to Damond’s 911 call, they drove down the alley with their headlights off, using a spotlight to search for any evidence of a woman in trouble. Harrity, who was driving, had the safety hood off his holster, ready to pull his gun if needed.
The pair was in the alley for less than two minutes. Finding nothing, they stopped at the end of the alley and planned to go to another call.
“At this time, I hear something hit the car and I also hear some sort of murmur,” he said.
He was startled by the thump and his mind went to a possible ambush. He drew his gun and held it to his ribs pointing downward, he said. Harrity admitted he was scared.
He said that as he tried to make sense of what was happening, he heard a pop, saw a flash, and looked over to see Noor had fired his gun. Noor fired across Harrity and through the driver’s side window.