Australian woman shot by US officer 'didn't have to die', say police

An Australian bride-to-be shot dead by US police after dialling 911 "did not have to die", authorities have admitted.

Justine Damond, 40, was killed shortly after reporting what she believed was an active sexual assault in Minneapolis on Saturday.

The teacher was then shot by a police officer - but body cameras and a squad camera are not believed to have captured the incident.

Now Minneapolis's police chief has claimed Ms Damond's death "should not have happened".

On Friday, Janee Harteau said the force had failed to "protect with courage" and "serve with compassion".

Ms Damond's fiance, Don Damond, has claimed police have shed little information surrounding the circumstances of her death.

Pleading with authorities, he said "piecing together Justine's last moments" would be a "small comfort".

At a press conference, police chief Harteau said: "Based on the publicly released information from the BCA [Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension], this should not have happened.

"On our squad cars you will find the words 'to protect with courage and to serve with compassion.' This did not happen."

Mohamed Noor was involved in the shooting of Ms Damond. Credit: AP

She continued: "Having the information that was publicly available right now while recognizing there is an open BCA investigation, I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers.

"These were the actions and judgment of one individual.

"I want to assure Justine's family, our community and those in Australia that I will do everything in my power to make sure due process is followed and justice is served.

"I spoke to Justine's fiance this morning and I told him I was sorry for his loss and that this did not have to happen.

"And, again, Justine did not have to die."

Chief Harteau added that Officer Mohamed Noor and his police partner should have activated their body cameras before encountering Ms Damond.