A crowd gathers to protest the neighborhood where a police officer fatally shot and killed a young girl in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday. Jay LaPrete / AP Hide caption
Jay LaPrete / AP
Jay LaPrete / AP
A 16-year-old black girl was fatally shot and killed by a white police officer outside her home, according to her family, after asking police for help on Tuesday afternoon.
The girl was identified as Ma’Khia Bryant by her aunt Hazel Bryant.
Bryant reportedly called officers around 4:30 pm local time when a group of “older children” threatened her with assault, her aunt told Ohio Statehouse News Bureau reporter Andy Chow. She did not address the nature of the threat.
Bryant was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, where she was later pronounced dead.
The fatal shots came as the verdict on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd, fell and quickly drew at least a dozen Black Lives Matter protesters to the scene, WBNS News reported. The outlet said protesters were on their way to gather in downtown Columbus to celebrate the guilty verdict in the Minneapolis trial, in which the former official was found guilty of three charges, including murder .
Bryant’s mother described her daughter as an “honor roll student and sweet kid,” WBNS reported.
The girl’s mother told @ 10TV that her daughter’s name was Ma’Khia Bryant. Her aunt told us she was 15 years old, but her mother said she was 16 years old. She told @LaceyCrisp Ma’Khia was an honor roll student and a cute kid. Police shot her in Legion Lane at 4:30 p.m. today. pic.twitter.com/qL4zh6uFyG
– Angela Reighard (@AngelaReighard) April 21, 2021
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther tweeted that many details of the shooting were unknown.
“We don’t know all the details. There are body-worn camera recordings of the incident. [Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation] is on site conducting an independent investigation, “wrote Ginther.
This afternoon a young woman tragically lost her life. We don’t know all the details. There are body-worn camera recordings of the incident. We are working to check this out asap. BCI is on site and is conducting an independent investigation. . .
– Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) April 20, 2021
News of the gunfight, in which an officer was involved, also drew protesters to the Columbus Police Department headquarters, where many were singing Bryant’s name being mentioned.
“Say her name! Ma’khia Bryant!” they shouted outside the station.
The city’s public safety department announced that it plans to release footage from the police body cameras of the shootings.
This is a developing story. Some facts reported by the media may later turn out to be false. We will focus on reports from police officers and other agencies, credible news outlets and reporters who are on the ground and we will keep ourselves updated as the situation evolves.