By Sarah Blake, AP and News Corp Australia Network
A woman approached the back of a Minneapolis police car and "slapped" it shortly before Australian woman Justine Damond was shot and killed by an officer, according to a search warrant filed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The search warrant obtained by Minnesota Public Radio doesn't specifically say that the woman was Justine Damond, but: "Upon police arrival, a female 'slaps' the back of the patrol squad ... After that, it is unknown to BCA agents what exactly happened, but the female became deceased in the alley."
The search warrant did not say whether the slap was the loud noise Mohamed Noor's partner Matthew Harrity described, MPR reported.
The news comes as personnel records of the two police officers who were involved in the shooting death of Ms Damond have been released, but with missing pieces.
The redacted files released by the Minneapolis Police Department include the employment and training records of officers Noor and Harrity.
Before enrolling in the police academy in March 2015, Noor worked as a hotel manager and mobile phone salesman, The Star Tribune reports.
He and Harrity did their field training in the Second and Third precincts in northeast and southeast Minneapolis.
Noor has worked in the Fifth Precinct, which covers most of southwest Minneapolis, since completing his probationary period in 2015. Both were later assigned to the Fifth Precinct.
The records show they completed the implicit bias, procedural justice and weapons training required.
The records also show Noor took multiple training courses, including recent in-service training about active shooter situations during the Super Bowl, which will be held in Minneapolis next year. His file also says he passed all of his annual semi-automatic, handgun and shotgun qualifications, but there are no additional details about how he performed.
Harrity had held jobs at a Boys and Girls Club on St. Paul's West Side, as a correctional officer at Stillwater prison and as a cashier at a liquor store. He was also a volunteer basketball coach for youths.
The redacted records still raise more questions than answers about their performance as police officers and if their conduct ever came into question while in the field.
MYSTERIOUS STREET SIGNS EMERGE
BIZARRE, fake street signs have begun popping up around Minneapolis near where Justine Damond was killed, but their origin is a mystery.
The sign features a silhouette of a police officer holding a gun in his hands, shooting in both directions.
It states: "WARNING: TWIN CITIES POLICE EASILY STARTLED". Social media users have begun posting sightings of the signs in Minneapolis and neighbouring city Saint Paul on platforms including Reddit.
The signs refer to a statement from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), which said police officer Mohamed Noor's partner Matthew Harrity heard a loud noise before she was shot dead.
Corey Schmidt, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department, told the Star Tribune he had seen a Facebook post about the Saint Paul sign but was unaware of the Minneapolis sign.
KILLER COP 'FAST TRACKED'
The cop who shot dead Aussie lifecoach Justine Damond was fast-tracked into the force under a controversial scheme to meet a shortage of police in Minneapolis.
Mohamed Noor, who mistakenly killed Ms Damond on July 15 after she called 911 to help a woman she believed was being attacked behind her home, studied for just eight months before he started field training.
While other police study a two-year degree in criminal justice before commencing field training, Noor, 31, was placed in an accelerated program because he already had a business degree.
Noor's killing of Ms Damond, 40, from Manly, has cast an international spotlight on the Midwest city, which has been rocked by three controversial cop killings in less than two years.
Police chief Janee Harteau was ousted last week after the city "lost faith" in her leadership, and authorities have been dogged by questions about the qualifications and preparedness of Noor, an officer for two years, and Officer Matthew Harrity, 26, who was driving their squad car and had been in the force for just a year.
Critics claim the cadet training program from which Noor graduated doesn't offer broad enough experience, with one saying its "all tactics and no strategy".
Criminologist James Densley said it was "rigorous, no doubt, but it is also an immersive paramilitary experience, taught by practitioner faculty without advanced degrees, and I suspect it leaves students with a limited view of the profession".
Former chief Harteau was forced to defend Noor's training, telling a press conference last week "we have a very robust field training officer program which, I've been told by the training officers, he did well".
"There was no indication there would be any issues," she said the day before her resignation.
In a statement last night, Minneapolis Police defended the cadet program.
"The MPD Cadet Program started back in 1989 and has helped the MPD hire a number of highly qualified and decorated officers, including many of our current Chiefs, Inspectors, and Commanders," the department said.
Noor has refused to explain his actions to the investigating Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but Officer Harrity told investigators his partner fired his service revolver from the passenger seat through the driver side door at Ms Damond. He described a loud sound, like a banging on a car, a man riding a bike near them, and a figure walking towards the car, just before Noor fired.
Ms Damond's family said through their lawyer they don't want Noor, who is on administrative leave pending the investigation, to ever work as a police officer again.
"It's quite clearly an improper use of deadly force on someone who it is impossible for me to conceive of as a threat to anyone," said Bob Bennett, who also represents the family of cop victim Philando Castile.