Fatal Shooting of Australian Woman by Minneapolis Officer Tops Headlines in her Native Land

July 17, 2017 11:42 PM

The fatal shooting of a 40-year-old Australian woman living in southwest Minneapolis by an officer Saturday night is drawing headlines in her native country.

Justine Damond, also known as Justine Ruszczyk, according to media in Australia, lived with her fiancé on Washburn Avenue.


She was set to get married next month.

Her death led news websites across Australia Monday.

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The story on her death was the most viewed story on the website of the Sydney Morning Herald Monday. The paper said she attended Manly High School and was a 2002 graduate of the University of Sydney.

Her parents still reside there.

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"I know everyone thinks this when a loved one goes in any kind of manner but she was seriously one of the most beautiful people that has ever walked the face of the planet," close friend Eloise King told the newspaper. "She was just infectious, not just for me. There are so many people that would talk about her in the same way."

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The shooting was also one of the most viewed stories on the website of The Australian, a national newspaper in the country, and it was the top story on the website of the Melbourne Herald-Sun.

Television networks too made Damond's shooting the lead story. The Nine Network focused on Damond's story, leaving her life in Australia to move to the U.S. to be with her fiance. News Corp Australia Network was also covering the issue extensively, on broadcast and online at news.com.au - including all the developments here in Minneapolis.

At the scene where Damond was shot, a growing number of Australian reporters had started to gather Monday.

 Alexis Daish, 9 Network Australia correspondent, said she traveled all night to cover this story, arriving in Minneapolis around 4:30 a.m. Monday.

"It has to be pretty big for us to travel these days. With this story though, there were no questions asked," she said.

"It's been the front page on all the papers, I think the fact that it was a police officer is what made it massive news," Daish said.

RELATED: Hodges: 'I am Heartsick and Deeply Disturbed' by Officer-Involved Shooting

KSTP met up with Australian Quentin Fogg at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport on Monday. Fogg, from Melbourne, flew into the Twin Cities for a medical conference. He says Justine Damond's death is making front page news in Australia.

"It's pretty horrible actually," Fogg said. "We certainly would not get that in Australia. You'd never consider that to be a likely outcome. You call for help and end up getting killed for it."

Fogg believes the death is making news because gun incidents are very rare in Australia. 

"It doesn't happen very often," Fogg said.


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