Hundreds of mourners have paid their respects to Australian woman Justine Damond, who was gunned down by a police officer in her Minneapolis driveway in July.
The ABC reports Damond’s father John Ruszczyk spoke through a stream of tears at the memorial and said he was “crushed by sorrow” and should have been attending her wedding, not her funeral.
“You have stolen my daughter and ripped her from my arms,” he said, referring to Officer Mohamed Noor, who shot Damond.
Media was present at the memorial, with The Daily Mail reporting Ruszczyk added: “I want Justine to be here but she has been taken from us.
“We are determined to get justice.”
He later recalled some of his final conversations with his beloved daughter, the first from when she visited Australia in May and later one of their last phone calls.
“In May Justine and I sat at the kitchen table talking. I said ‘I love you and I miss you’ – she said ‘I love you dad’ – that love was real and present,” he said.
“Then she flew back to Minneapolis and I spoke to her on the phone. I said ‘I love you’ and she said ‘I love you dad’.”
Just days later Damond was shot dead by Noor after calling 911 to report a suspected assault in the alley next to her house.
Damond was living in the US with her American fiance Don Damond. The pair were due to wed this year.
Officer Noor has so far refused to cooperate with authorities investigating the shooting, but his partner Officer Harrity recounted events for Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) the day after the incident.
He said Noor was startled by a noise and fired his weapon through the patrol car’s passenger-side window.
The bullet hit Damond in the abdomen, killing her almost instantly.