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New information regarding the shooting death of Ohio teen Ma’Khia Bryant has been released, in addition to new body camera footage of the tragic incident.
Bryant, 16, was shot and killed on Tuesday after officers with the Columbus Division of Police responded to reports of a fight at a private residence at around 4:30 p.m., according to police. Authorities first received a 911 call from someone who has yet to be officially identified who stated that “females” were present and trying to “stab them and put their hands on them,” Columbus Police said during a press conference on Tuesday. Body camera footage released during that press conference shows officers arriving at the scene while a fight takes place in a front yard; one officers yells “Get down, get down” and fires four shots at a teen, later identified as Bryant, who appeared to be holding what looked like a knife.
“She had a knife, she just went at her,” the officer who fired the shots can be heard saying after shooting the teen. Bryant was transported to Mount Carmel East Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:21 that evening, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
The shooting happened within moments of officers’ arrival. The officer who fired the shots was placed on administrative leave and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations has launched an investigation, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Columbus police identified the officer in question as Nicholas Reardon, who began working with the department in 2019. Reardon, the son of a retired police sergeant, also had military training; he is a U.S. Air National Guardsman who received the expert marksman badge with an M4 Carbine, according to a report from The Daily Beast.
Police on Wednesday also released more body camera footage that was captured by other officers who responded to the scene. One video shows police transporting witnesses to their cars and taping off the scene of the shooting. Another video shows either an officer or a first responder performing CPR on Bryant.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said Wednesday that authorities released the body camera footage “as soon as possible” and will do the same with all other information pertaining to the case, while keeping in mind the importance of not compromising the BCI investigation.
“We believe that transparency with the public is the utmost priority during this difficult time,” Ginther said. “Bottom line: did Ma’Khia Bryant need to die yesterday? How did we get here? This is a failure on part of our community. Some are guilty, but all of us are responsible.”
Bryant’s death resulted in widespread protests. The teen was fatally shot shortly before Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted for the murder of George Floyd, a Black man who lost his life after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest.
Hazel Bryant, Ma’Khia’s aunt, told The Daily Beast that Ma'Khia lived in a foster home and was defending herself from adult women after they came to the house and initiated a confrontation with her. Hazel Bryant said that it was Ma’Khia who called the police for help, in addition to calling her father and grandmother.
Ma’Khia Bryant’s grandmother, Debra Wilcox, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Ma’Khia was shy and liked to make TikTok videos in her spare time.
“The fact that I see what I saw on that video is not how I know my Ma’Khia,” Wilcox said. “I don’t know what happened there unless she was fearful for her life.”
Also stoking outrage is footage of another officer shouting “Blue lives matter” to residents who'd gathered at the scene some time after the shooting, according to The Daily Beast. Police had not yet commented on that video as of Wednesday, according to the outlet. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Oxygen.com.
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