Ma'Khia Bryant's foster mom has spoken out about the events leading up to her tragic death.
Here's the full story...
Now, the incident unfolded on April 20th in Columbus, Ohio.
At around 4pm, police officers responded to an emergency call over an attempted stabbing.
Upon their arrival, they found a sixteen-year-old girl, who has since been identified as Ma'Khia Bryant, attempting to stab another girl.
After attempting to diffuse the situation, one of the officers opened fire and, despite CPR being performed, Ma'Khia later died in the hospital.
Bodycam footage provided by the police shows an altercation with a group of individuals outside a house...
15 Year-Old girl, Ma’Khia Bryant Fatally shot today by Columbus Division of Police !!!!— Duece Duece ✨ (@DueceDes) April 21, 2021
RIp baby girl 💕🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/TfHXKfRo4u
Before one of them - said to be Ma'Khia Bryant - appeared to lunge at another member of the group with a knife in hand.
Then, a police officer, who has since been identified as Officer Nicholas Reardon, approached the group in the driveway and shouted "get down" before firing several shots, fatally injuring the girl.
Reardon can be heard saying in the footage, "She had a knife, she just went at her."
A bystander, however, shouted that she was just a child.
As soon as the news of Ma'Khai's death broke, Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation launched an investigation into the events that took place.
Mayor Andrew Ginther on Tuesday told reporters that information will be released as quickly as possible before adding that, as a father, he was grieved by what happened.
"The city of Columbus lost a sixteen-year-old girl today. We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community," he said.
Three white officers say, "blue lives matter" to a group of black residents at the scene where police shot and killed a 15-year-old girl. pic.twitter.com/TGkejEiaho— scott keeler (@_WhatRiot) April 21, 2021
"But a family is grieving tonight. And this young sixteen-year-old girl will never be coming home."
Protesters quickly gathered at the scene...
Just moments after #DerekChauvin was given a guilty verdict, protestors have gathered in SE Columbus after a police involved shooting took place involving a teen fatality. I’ll be bringing you more updates so stick with @SpectrumNews1OH. pic.twitter.com/EPmDurfWEP— Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH (@jmuhammadtv) April 20, 2021
Many holding signs saying: "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
"It is absolutely devastating that I am driving home from an appointment in elation, honking my horn in jubilation, filled with hope in thinking there's maybe a turn that the nation deserves, and then simultaneously all of those feelings of positivity brought down to devastation in the blink of an eye is devastating," Thomas-St. Clair said.
Officer Reardon has since been placed on paid leave...
The Columbus Division of Police have confirmed that it was officer Nicholas Reardon, that shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. I’ll have more updates from the press conference at 4 on @SpectrumNews1OH https://t.co/8r2xtL7Zvs— Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH (@jmuhammadtv) April 21, 2021
And the incident is currently being investigated.
But, of course, opinions on Reardon's actions that day are mixed.
Officer Nicholas Reardon shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant. She was 16 and she only had a knife and was shot 4 times. There’s a lot of people focusing on “what if’s”. The other girls are safe. But Ma’Khia is dead. You cannot justify that.— Destiny Brown (@destinybr0wn) April 22, 2021
Many have slammed him for shooting a sixteen-year-old girl, and have said that it is yet another example of systematic racism.
Students from the Ohio State University even took over their student's union...
Ohio State students take over student union to demand OSU cut ties with Columbus Police after the killing of Ma'Khia Bryant, then march to the statehouse. https://t.co/Onts8rLJFW— Julie Polter (@JuliePolter) April 22, 2021
Chanting Ma'Khia's name in the call for justice.
Yet, on the other hand, others have applauded Officer Reardon for saving the life of the young girl at risk of being stabbed...
Officer Nicholas Reardon is a hero and I think it's disgusting that the news is ignoring the truth and trying to make a hero out of a knife-wielding psychopath.— Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) April 21, 2021
With some even hailing him as a hero.
The Columbus Police Department has also defended Reardon's actions.
The department's interim police chief, Michael Woods, said in a press conference:
"One of the difficult things with that is we don't train to shoot the leg because that's a small target. We train to shoot center mass to what is available to stop that threat."
He went on to detail that, because of the threat Ma'Khai was posing, Reardon was forced to shoot "the largest part of a body that is available."
"There was a threat going on, a deadly force threat that was going on, so the officer was trained to shoot center mass – the largest part of a body that is available to them."
"When you try and start shooting legs or arms, rounds miss and they continue on and there are people behind that who could be in danger that are not committing anything, so we try to minimize danger to anyone else if we have to use our firearm."
HAPPENING NOW - 4/12/21 - 2pm— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) April 21, 2021
An update on the police-involved shooting on April 20, 2021.https://t.co/pHFDZHJOpl
He added that the force's firearms training dictates that an officer fires until the threat is over and that the use of force is authorized if the safety of the officer or a third person is in jeopardy.
But now, days after her death...
Her family have started to speak out.
Ma'Khia's aunt, Hazel Bryant, first told reporters that her niece had got into a disagreement with another girl at the foster home in which she resided.
She later said the teen called the police, her father, and grandmother for help, and grabbed a knife to protect herself.
"She was a good kid. She was loving," Hazel Bryant said.
"Yeah, she had issues but that's OK. All of us go through sh*t... She didn't deserve to die like a dog in the street."
And now Ma'Khia's foster mom, Angela Moore, has opened up about the events leading up to her tragic death...
Ma'Khia Bryant reportedly argued with 2 other teens about the house being messy and an unmade bed before being shot...
Chris Mitchell lives a few houses down from the place where Ma'Khia Bryant was killed.— Adora Namigadde (@adorakn) April 22, 2021
"How come a bunch of celebrities are dropping her name now, but no one celebrated her accomplishments when she was here? How come black lives only matter when they're gone?" pic.twitter.com/JUhfHxPlAk
Moore said 2 of her foster children came over on Tuesday for her birthday when Bryant started an argument.
"It was over keeping the house clean. The older one told them to clean up the house because 'Mom doesn't like the house dirty,'" Moore recalled being told by one of the girls...
"So that's how it all started," she added.
The foster mom said that the girls "argue all the time," adding that she "never thought it would escalate like that."
Ma’Khia Bryant deserved a society that would protect her childhood, that would allow her to live a fulfilling life. Reform will not give us that society, the status quo remains unchanged.— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) April 21, 2021
We send love to her family and community. Rest in power, Ma’Khia. pic.twitter.com/P45Xo9hSDO
Moore said she got a frantic call from one of the girls before Ma'Kiah lunged at her.
"'Mom, get home! Where are you? They're going crazy,'" Moore said the woman told her. "She said they shot Ma'Kiah and I said, 'Huh?' It was just crazy."
This is a memorial for Ma'Khia Bryant. I'm spending time in her neighborhood trying to learn more about who she was. pic.twitter.com/RRcabh8n57— Adora Namigadde (@adorakn) April 22, 2021
Moore said she then started to pray when she got text messages from people saying, "I'm sorry."
When she arrived home, a police officer told her Ma'Khia had died.
CW: Violence against Black Girls, Police Brutality, Ma’Khia Bryant— Martha Aguirre-Rubio (@_MarthaAR) April 22, 2021
This is the most beautiful and humanizing response I have ever seen. pic.twitter.com/XIOjBJ99cB
"She was fun. She liked to dance. She did chores around the house," Moore said. "I never in my worst nightmare would have thought it would ever come to this," she added.
Rest in peace.