Justine Damond: Australian PM calls shooting ‘inexplicable’

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has said he will seek answers from US authorities over the “inexplicable” death of a woman shot by a policeman.

Justine Damond, originally from Sydney, was killed in Minneapolis after calling police to report a possible crime.

The incident is under investigation by US authorities, who say they cannot compel the officer to give a statement.

Mr Turnbull said his government is determined to learn what “went tragically wrong”.

“How can a woman out in the street in her pyjamas seeking assistance be shot like that?” he said on the local Nine network on Wednesday.

“It is a shocking killing, and yes, we are demanding answers on behalf of her family.”

US media reported that Ms Damond, 40, was dressed in her pyjamas and had approached the driver’s side door of a police car when she was shot on Saturday.

 
Image captionMalcolm Turnbull will seek answers from the US

Officer Mohamed Noor, who was sitting in the passenger seat, fired his weapon across his partner and through the driver’s door, striking Ms Damond in the abdomen.

Every police officer and squad car in Minneapolis is equipped with cameras, but the incident was not recorded.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said she is seeking information as to why Officer Noor and his partner had failed to activate their cameras.

“We cannot compel Officer Noor to make a statement,” she said.

“There are big questions left that we still have and that we hope to have answered soon.”

On Wednesday morning, hundreds of people gathered for a dawn vigil at a Sydney beach to honour Ms Damond.

Image captionHundreds of people gathered for a beach vigil in Sydney

In silence, attendees including her family and friends lit candles and released pink flowers into the ocean.

“We are here to come together as a community around our beautiful Justine, to honour her life, share our love and mourn her death,” Ms Damond’s family said in a statement ahead of the vigil.