Update from the bca today. Coward won't be interviewed but his rookie partner was.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) today confirmed identity of the two Minneapolis Police Department officers involved in an officer involved shooting incident on Saturday, July 15. The BCA is conducting the investigation at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Officer Matthew Harrity has been an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department for one year.
Officer Mohamed Noor has been an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department for 21 months.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday evening confirmed the identity of the deceased as Justine Maia Ruszczyk, 40, of 5024 Washburn Avenue South in Minneapolis. Ruszczyk died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.
BCA agents interviewed Officer Harrity earlier today. Officer Noor has declined to be interviewed by BCA agents at this time. Officer Noor’s attorney did not provide clarification on when, if ever, an interview would be possible.
According to the BCA’s preliminary investigation, officers Harrity and Noor responded to a 911 call from a woman now identified as Ruszczyk of a possible assault near her residence just after 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Officer Harrity was driving. Officer Noor was in the passenger seat.
The officers drove south through the alley between Washburn and Xerxes avenues toward West 51st Street in search of a suspect. All squad lights were off.
As they reached West 51st Street, Officer Harrity indicated that he was startled by a loud sound near the squad. Immediately afterward Ruszczyk approached the driver’s side window of the squad. Harrity indicated that Officer Noor discharged his weapon, striking Ruszczyk through the open driver’s side window.
The officers immediately exited the squad and provided medical attention until medical personnel arrived. Ruszczyk was pronounced dead at the scene. Both officers have been placed on standard administrative leave.
Officer Harrity told investigators that the officers saw an 18-25 year old white male who was bicycling eastbound on West 51st Street immediately before the shooting. This individual stopped at the scene and watched as the officers provided medical assistance to Ruszczyk. BCA agents would like to speak with this person, and anyone else who may have witnessed the incident. These individuals are asked to contact the BCA at 651-793-7000.
Crime scene personnel recovered a cell phone near the victim. No weapons were recovered.
Body cameras were not turned on until after the shooting incident. The squad camera was not turned on. Investigators are aware of no video or audio of the shooting. The BCA’s investigation does not determine whether a law enforcement agency policy was violated. That would be reviewed through the agency’s internal affairs process.