Australia grapples with shooting of Justine Damond

- The death of an Australian woman in Minneapolis is gripping a nation, as Australians not only mourn her death but grapple with the circumstances.

According to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, 40-year-old Justine Damond was killed by a Minneapolis police officer after calling 911 to report a possible assault. Damond was unarmed.

Damond moved to Minneapolis several years ago to be with her fiancé. In her home country of Australia, news of her death has dominated headlines as the storyline feeds into Australians fears over America’s gun culture.

“I think the big thing is guns,” said Alexis Daish, a reporter for 9 News in Australia. “Australians perceive Americans with being okay with guns being everywhere which is very different from the situation in Australia.”

Australia has strict gun control laws that prohibit most people from owning a gun. The government tightened gun laws following a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania that killed 35 people.

“It doesn’t happen,” Daish said when Fox 9 asked her about police shootings in her native country. “And people don’t have guns. The only people who have guns are farmers who have them legally and lock them up in safes.”

Law enforcement in Australia do carry guns, as do the military.

“Where it’s appropriate they can use lethal force too, but it’s certainly not as common as it is in the United States,” said Ashlee Mullany, a reporter at Channel Seven News in Australia.

Speaking on a national TV show Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the shooting "inexplicable" and demanded answers from local authorities here in Minnesota.

"How can a woman, out in the street in her pajamas seeking assistance from the police, be shot like that?" he said. "Something clearly went tragically wrong."

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