Fireworks May Have Startled Cop Who Shot Bride-to-Be

Officer Mohamed Noor isn't talking to investigators
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2017 2:50 AM CDT
Updated Jul 19, 2017 6:21 AM CDT
Fireworks May Have Startled Cop Who Shot Bride-to-Be
Family and friends gather on Sydney's Freshwater Beach, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, following a candlelight vigil where they threw hundreds of pink flowers into the ocean for Justine Damond.   (Dean Lewins/AAP Image via AP)

Fireworks may have played a role in the fatal police shooting of an Australian bride-to-be in Minneapolis on Saturday night—but investigators are having trouble finding out more because the officer involved has clammed up. Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting of Justine Damond and it says Matthew Harrity, the other officer present, has told them he was "startled by a loud sound" as they drove down an alley following up Damond's 911 call about a possible sexual assault in progress, the Pioneer Press reports. The BCA says Harrity told them Damond approached the driver's side window of the squad car immediately afterward, and was shot by officer Mohamed Noor.

The "loud sound" may have been the "aerial fireworks" referred to in radio conversations between Noor, Hannity, dispatchers, and other officers in the area, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The BCA says Noor declined to be interviewed by investigators, and his lawyer didn't say "when, if ever, an interview would be possible." Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges says the lack of information is "frustrating," the Star Tribune reports. "We cannot compel Officer Noor to make a statement" but she wishes he would make one, she told reporters Tuesday night. In an interview Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said diplomats are seeking information on the "shocking" and "inexplicable" killing. (More Justine Damond stories.)

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