MINNEAPOLIS — The police officer on trial in Minneapolis for fatally shooting an unarmed woman fled Somalia's civil war as a child.

Mohamed Noor testified Thursday that he followed a well-worn path with his family to a refugee camp in Kenya. Then they came to the U.S. and eventually settled in Minnesota. He carved out a life in business and later spotted an online ad recruiting police officers.

Noor's testimony broke more than 18 months of silence since the shooting in July 2017.

His hiring in 2015 was welcomed by city leaders seeking to diversify the police force. He was fired after being charged in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. She called 911 to report a possible crime near her home and was shot as she approached his squad car.