Prosecutors file 2nd-degree murder charge against fired officer Noor
Hennepin County prosecutors added a second-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, arguing that he acted with intent when he shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond near her southwest Minneapolis home last year.
Noor was previously charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Now prosecutors argue in a recent filing that evidence shows that the officer intended to kill Ms. Ruszczyk when he aimed and fired at her, justifying a second-degree murder charge.
They based their conclusion on the fact that Noor fired on Ruszczyk from a distance of no more than six feet and with tragic accuracy, firing the fatal bullet past his partner.
As a trained officer, the defendant was fully aware that such a shot would kill Ms. Ruszczyk, a result he clearly intended, the filing read.
The county attorneys office declined to comment Friday, citing a gag order in the case.
Noor, who was fired from the department in March, hasnt entered a plea on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, but his attorneys indicated that he would plead not guilty by self-defense. He remains free on bail.
An appeal of his termination is on hold pending the outcome of the criminal case.
A district court judge previously set an April 1, 2019 trial date, while denying defense motions to dismiss the case.
Noor is the first police officer statewide in recent memory to be charged with murder for an on-duty killing.
Damond, whose legal last name was Ruszczyk, but who went by Justine Damond professionally, had called 911 to report a possible rape in the alley behind her south Minneapolis home in July 2017. Prosecutors say she was shot as she approached the SUVs driver side window, with Noor firing past his partner, who was behind the wheel.
Staff writer Randy Furst contributed to this report.
Libor Jany 612-673-4064 Twitter:@StribJany