Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, was shot and killed by police, and her death has sparked outrage.
The moment an officer opened fire on Ma’Khia on Tuesday, April 20, in east Columbus, according to body camera footage released by Columbus Police.
Interim Chief of Police Michael Woods said the video shows the officer acting to save the life of another young girl at a press conference Tuesday evening.
According to Woods, the incident started at 4:32 p.m., when 911 received a call reporting a group of women attempting to stab the caller. Dispatchers, according to Woods, attempted to obtain knowledge about guns but were unsuccessful.
The officer arrives on the scene as a confrontation between the young women is taking place, as seen in the video. According to Woods, a female with a knife tries to stab one person on the ground, then another who is pressed up against a car. The officer fires his weapon four times when the female approaches the second individual against the vehicle.
According to Woods, the department released the video as soon as possible in order to be frank with the public.
The officer’s identity has not been released by Woods, but he has been taken off the streets as inquiries are conducted.
Ma’Khia Bryant was taken to Mount Carmel East and died at 5:21 p.m.
Bryant was a foster child under the care of Franklin County Family Services, according to a statement issued by the agency, which called her death “a horrific event” and said the organization will continue to work with the family.
Meanwhile, relatives of the deceased have said that Ma’Khia was the one who dialed 911 for assistance and was defending herself with the knife.
Ma’Khia’s mother expressed her grief on Facebook.
She shared a photo they took together and wrote: “Fly high in heaven baby girl! Rest in heaven Makhia Bryant! The police killed my daughter today in Columbus Ohio!”