The Australian woman who was shot dead by Minnesota cops was a deeply spiritual person who left her life in Sydney to move to America for the man she loved, friends said Monday.
Justine Damond, who worked as a spiritual mentor, made the tough choice to move across the world in 2015 after meeting fiancé Don Damond during a workshop in the US.
“It was a difficult decision for her to make,” her close pal Eloise King told the Sydney Morning Herald Monday.
Damond, 40, was shot and killed by police outside her home in Fulton on Saturday night after she called to report a “sound” in the alley behind the house.
One of the officers blasted her through the driver’s door as she tried to speak to police in her driveway. Neither their bodycams nor the patrol car’s dashcam were turned on at the time of the shooting.
“She thought there was something bad that was happening and next thing I know, they take my best friend’s life. So I’m just done. F—k the police,” said her stepson, Zach Damond.
In Sydney, friends gathered at Damond’s parents’ home in Freshwater as her family tried to make sense of her death.
“This is a very difficult time for our family,” the Ruszczyk family said in a statement. “We are trying to come to terms with this tragedy and to understand why this has happened.”
Friend Julie Reed remembered Damond, who used her fiance’s last name ahead of their nuptials next month, for all the “joy she brought to our lives.”
King called Damond “infectious and loving.”
“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,” King said. “She was just infectious, not just for me. There are so many people that would talk about her in the same way.”