Australian Woman May Have Startled Officers by Slapping Police Car Before Being Shot

July 26, 2017 Updated: July 26, 2017

A search warrant related to the investigation of the Australian woman who was shot by a Minneapolis police officer states that someone slapped the back of the police car and “became deceased by the alley,” “with trauma to her torso that could be a gunshot wound.” The officer, Mohamed Noor, who fired his weapon, has not agreed to give a statement on his version of events as to what happened after an Australian woman called 911 about a possible sexual assault occurring near her residence on July 15.

The search warrant was filed on July 24 in Hennepin District Court. Information released on July 18, after investigators interviewed Noor’s partner Matthew Harrity, indicates that the woman referred to who may have slapped the car is indeed Australian Justine Ruszczyk, unless there was another woman at the scene. Despite the call police did not encounter any evidence of a sexual assault.

One witness to the shooting, a cyclist who was passing by, has given his statement to investigators. No information has been publicly released of what he said.

Harrity’s lawyer hinted in a Star Tribune report that the police may have been on edge about a potential ambush.”It’s certainly reasonable to assume that any police officer would be concerned about a possible ambush under these circumstances,” said lawyer Fred Bruno. When they approached the crime scene the car lights were off. Harrity indicated a loud sound startled them, and then Ruszczyk appeared at the car. Noor shot through the car window.

The combination and timing of events, without a statement from Noor, could suggest the police weren’t expecting to encounter Ruszczyk. Without finding a sexual assault taking place, perhaps they had ambush concerns. A police officer was shot and killed while sitting in a police vehicle in New York City, just 10 days earlier.

Both officers are on paid administrative leave. Upon conclusion of its investigation the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will present its findings to the county attorney. A news release states one issue that remains an aggravating factor for all related parties in finding out the truth of the case. “Officer Noor has declined to be interviewed by BCA agents at this time. Officer Noor’s attorney did not provide clarification on when, if ever, an interview would be possible.”