Columbus Interim Police Chief Michael Wood said police received a 9-1-1 call at 4:35 PM on Tuesday from someone indicating "females were there trying to stab them and put their hands on them," per reports.
The bodycam footage released later that evening shows an officer approaching a group at the end of a driveway. A teenage girl is seen moving towards another girl with what police claim was a knife in her hand. The officer repeatedly yells, "Get down." The teen then reportedly appears to lunge toward another female when the policeman fires four shots in her direction.
A bystander can be heard saying, "You didn’t have to shoot her! She's just a kid, man!"
"She had a knife. She just ran at her," the officer replies.
"I'm very upset, I'm hurt. I want answers," Bryant's mother told WBNS.
She also claimed Ma'Khia was the one to call police in the first place, saying "My daughter dispatched Columbus police for protection, not to be a homicide today."
"Ma'Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered," she added.
The shooting occurred about 30 minutes before a judge read the murder conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd.
"We were happy about the verdict. But you couldn't even enjoy that," Kimberly Shepherd, Ma'Khia's neighbor, told outlets. "Because as you're getting one phone call that he was guilty, I'm getting the next phone call that this is happening in my neighborhood."
My heart breaks for this angel’s mother. Ma’Khia Bryant... your name will be remembered. Let’s honor her tonight https://t.co/VKJkRIfwHH
Ma’Khia Bryant was only 16 years old—killed by police yesterday. She deserves justice and accountability. We must reform this deeply broken system. My heart is with Ma’Khia’s loved ones.https://t.co/XQDLWzxFNU
*My prayer cries out this “mourning” for 15yr old #MakiyahBryant. Evil has been released upon us like a rushing mighty wind. We must stay strong & vigilant to fight and continue to press forward for justice. The war continues... https://t.co/URBY5JLcqd
I am at a total loss of words over the tragic killing of 16-year-old Ma’khia Bryant by the Columbus Police. My prayers are with her family and friends. Our community is hurting, has experienced too much heartbreak, and deserves better.
Just to be clear, @SG_Hardin and @MayorGinther: 12/4/2020 — Casey Goodson, shot and killed by a Franklin County deputy. 12/22/2020 — Andre Hill, shot and killed by a Columbus Police Officer. 4/20/21 — Ma’Khia Bryant, shot and killed by a Columbus Police Officer. Resign. https://t.co/6YnSXbZOH2