Sunrise Vigil For Justine Ruszczyk One Year After Shooting Death
'Justine, because of her senseless killing, will never see that sunrise or hear the kookaburras again.'
Family and friends have gathered on Sydney’s northern beaches to celebrate the life of Justine Ruszczyk, one year after she was shot dead by a police officer in the U.S.
As the sun rose over Freshwater beach on Sunday, burning candles and bright pink flowers were placed in the shape of a heart in the sand. A sign read, 'Justice for Justine.'
It was the same place her loved ones had gathered upon hearing of her shocking death on July 15 last year.
“On the way to the beach this morning, the kookaburras were laughing (and) when we got here, we experienced this beautiful sunrise,” her father John Ruszczyk said.
“And Justine, because of her senseless killing, will never see that sunrise or hear the kookaburras again.”
The Australian woman was working in the U.S. when she was shot dead by police officer Mohamed Noor. Ruszczyk had called police after suspecting a sexual assault occurring outside her home in the city of Minneapolis.
Approaching the police car, with Noor and his police partner inside, she was shot seconds later.
Noor, 32, is yet to face trial on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“Our communities here at Freshwater and in Minneapolis are waiting for judgment,” her father said on Sunday morning.
A similar vigil was also organised by her fiance, Don Damond, in Minneapolis, where a park bench has been dedicated to the beloved Australian near the location where she died.