Bride-to-be fatally shot by police grew up in WNY

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 12:20:48-04

An Australian woman shot and killed by police in Minneapolis over the weekend has ties to Western New York.

Justine Damond, 40, was shot by an officer late Saturday night after calling 911 to report a possible assault in the alley near her home.

It is unclear what led to the shooting, which is being investigated by Minnesota state authorities.

Damond spent some of her early childhood years in the Buffalo area. A cousin of John Ruszczyk, Damond's father, said she held dual Australian-U.S. citizenship and frequently returned to Western New York to visit.

The family says they have lost "a loving free spirit."

Damond worked as a personal health and life coach. She was a yoga and meditation instructor and was set to get married next month. 

Her husband was away on business at the time of her death.

The two officers involved have been placed on leave.