Police were responding to a 911 call that someone was “trying to stab us” on Tuesday when an officer fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, who appeared to wield a knife on two other females in Columbus, Ohio.
On Wednesday, police released two 911 calls that came in before the fatal incident, as well as body-camera footage from three officers who responded to the call.
The first call came in at 4:32 p.m. The caller, who has not been identified by police, said, “[indistinguishable]…trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put their hands on our grandma. Get here now.”
A second call came in but quickly ended when police arrived at the scene.
Bryant’s mother, Paula Bryant, told 10TV that her daughter called 911 herself because people were threatening her.
The Columbus Police Department has not identified the caller, instead deferring questions to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The bureau reportedly told Fox News it could not yet release that information.
Footage from the body camera worn by Nicholas Reardon, the officer who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant, appears to show a young woman who is wielding a knife while forcing another female to the ground. She then turns and runs at another female, still wielding what appears to be a knife, when Reardon fires multiple shots, hitting her.
Reardon, who has been on the force since December 2019, was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said people should not “rush to judgment” in the aftermath of the “tragedy.”
“I understand the outrage and emotion around this incident. A teenage girl is dead and she’s dead at the hands of a police officer,” he said. “Under any circumstances, that is a horrendous tragedy. But the video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause, take a close look at the sequence of events, and though it is not easy, wait for the facts.”
Columbus interim Police Chief Michael Woods said he could not comment on Tuesday’s shooting but that officers are trained to use deadly force to stop a deadly assault on an officer or third party, according to Fox News.
“When officers are faced with someone employing deadly force, deadly force can be the response the officer gives,” Woods said.
The shooting came on the same day a jury convicted Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd. Chauvin was convicted on all charges, including second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of George Floyd.
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