Ma’Kiyah Bryant shooting: Columbus, Ohio police ID officer involved in death of teen girl
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Interim Chief of the Columbus Police Department has identified the police officer who fatally shot Ma’Kiyah Bryant, a 16-year-old girl who appeared to be attacking two other people with a knife Tuesday.
The department also released additional body camera footage and 911 calls.
Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said the body camera footage came from Officer Nicholas Reardon, who fired his weapon. The video appeared to show Reardon responding to the scene of an attempted stabbing and witnessing Bryant wielding a knife while fighting two other people. Reardon shouted "get down, get down" before opening fire on Bryant.
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Four shots rang out before Bryant is seen on video slumping to the ground.
Other officers then came to Bryant’s aid. Bystanders started yelling at Reardon for shooting Bryant and he can be heard responding that "she had a knife." Authorities transported her to a local hospital where doctors pronounced her dead.
Additional body camera footage from two other officers on the scene was also released on Wednesday.
Woods said an unidentified caller told 911 dispatchers that a group of girls was trying to fight but didn’t identify them. The caller then hung up. A second unidentified person called 911 but cut the conversation short after seeing police arrive on the scene.
Woods said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will conduct the investigation. He said the information will be sent to the Franklin County’s Prosecutor Office and will go to a grand jury.
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The chief said he couldn’t say if Reardon should’ve used a Taser on Bryant, but gave the department’s general policy.
"When officers are faced with someone employing deadly force, deadly force can be the response the officer can gives," he told reporters.
Mayor Paul Ginther called the incident a tragedy for Columbus.
"The city of Columbus lost a 15-year-old girl today. We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. But a family is grieving tonight and this young 15-year-old girl will never be coming home," Ginther said.
Relatives originally told media outlets Bryant was 15 years old, but Woods told reporters she was 16 years old during his news conference Wednesday.
The shooting happened just minutes before the reading of the Derek Chauvin verdict in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A jury found Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
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Floyd's death renewed global protests on policing and the deadly force often used against Black people.
Columbus police have been involved in several high-profile shootings involving Black people in the past year. Officer Adam Coy shot Andre Hill on Dec. 22 as Hill was emerging from a garage holding up a cell phone, officials previously said.
Less than three weeks before Hill was killed, a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. in Columbus.
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And last week, Columbus police shot and killed a man who was in a hospital emergency room with a gun on him. Officials are continuing an investigation into that shooting.
As word spread of Tuesday’s incident, protesters took to the streets demanding answers. Police chose to quickly release video of the shooting, which Interim Police Chief Michael Woods called "unprecedented."
"I think that all of you would agree, we've never been able to release video this fast," Woods said during a news briefing. "But we thought it was important to share with the community to be transparent about this incident, to let them have some answers that we can give tonight. We know we can't provide every answer but it's important that we can answer some questions tonight."
This story was reported from Atlanta. The Associated Press and FOX News contributed.