Trigger-happy cop complains that he was 'thrown under the bus' by fellow officers
The Minneapolis cop who shot and killed a woman after she called 911 to report a possible rape says she startled him when she rushed toward his patrol car.
Mohamed Noor, 31, told a friend he was "startled" by Justine Damond as she rushed toward him in the dark and he didn't realize she was the 911 caller when he shot her.
Noor was on the passenger side of the police cruiser when he reached across his partner, Matthew Harrity, and fired multiple times through the open driver's side window, striking Damond.
Harrity, who suffered hearing loss from the gunshots, lowered his window to speak to Damond before his partner gunned her down. A police source said Harrity did not view Damond as a threat.
The 40-year-old yoga instructor was pronounced dead at 11:51 pm from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The incident happened late Saturday night in an alleyway about a block from Damond's upscale home.
In audio of the 911 call, Damond reported hearing sounds of a woman having sex or being raped behind her home on Washburn Avenue South.
"It's been going on for a while… I think she just yelled out 'help; I don’t think she's enjoying it," Damond told the dispatcher.
Officers Noor and Harrity arrived minutes later and proceeded slowly down the dark alleyway across the street from Damond's home.
The Australian native left her house and walked to the end of the alleyway to meet the officers.
Noor said Damond ran towards the police cruiser after he heard "a loud bang," and he couldn't tell what the pajama-wearing blonde was holding in her hand, so he opened fire.
Damond's cell phone was found nearby. Neither officer turned on their body cams, in violation of department policy. Noor, in particular, didn't activate his body cam even though his gun was in his lap -- another violation of protocol.
A police source confirmed officers are required to switch on their body cams when responding to a 911 call about a sex assault, or if they are "in search" and anticipate use of force.
Both officers are suspended with pay while the investigation is ongoing.
Noor still refuses to speak with state investigators, but he revealed details of the shooting to a friend in the Minneapolis Somali community.
He complained that he was "thrown under the bus" by colleagues in the 5th precinct and he feels isolated because he is a Muslim immigrant and not white, the friend told UK's Daily Mail tabloid.
"He is aware that [police] normally come together at times like this and support each other with slogans like 'Blue Lives Matter'," the friend said.
The friend said Noor and his family are shocked at the online abuse he's receiving, with some users saying Damond would not have been shot if she was wearing a burka or hijab.
In his 2 years on the police force Noor racked up three complaints and a lawsuit -- all by women. One complaint was marked closed, while two cases remain open.
He was hired as the 5th precinct's first Somali Muslim cop in March 2015, despite failing a police exam 4 times.