Washington – A former police officer in the US city of Minneapolis was sentenced on Friday to 12 years and six months in prison for fatally shooting an Australian woman who had called police for help, according to news reports.
Mohamed Noor, 33, a Somali immigrant, was found guilty in April of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the July 15, 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, who was unarmed. Damond had called police to report that she thought another woman was being sexually assaulted in the alley behind her home.
Noor must serve two-thirds of his sentence before he will be eligible for parole, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The shooting sparked outrage, particularly in the victim’s home country of Australia.
It also led to the resignation of the city’s police chief and changes in procedures on police body cameras. Neither Noor nor his partner had activated theirs on the night of the shooting.
Noor, who had been on the job for two years, responded to Damond’s call together with his partner. Noor said during his testimony that he fired one shot after hearing a noise on the side of the squad car that he thought was a threat.
"I caused this tragedy and it is my burden," he said in court on Friday, according to the Star Tribune.
Damond was about to get married when she was killed. Her fiancee, Don Damond, said in a statement that he missed her every day and didn’t understand how such a thing could happen to them.