OHIO — Ma'Khia Bryant's mom was at the dentist when she received a phone call that a police officer had shot her daughter, she told CNN Thursday, as she grieves in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting that authorities say stopped Bryant from stabbing another young woman.
"This is so unreal, the hurt that I feel, I'm devastated. I was shocked when I heard the news. It was unbelievable. No parent should have to go through this," Paula Bryant said in the interview.
Ma'Khia, a 16-year-old Black girl, was shot and killed by a Columbus police officer Tuesday afternoon. Body camera footage released by the police department shows Ma'Khia lunging at another girl with a knife. The police officer, identified as Nicholas Reardon, yelled for Ma'Khia to "get down" before she attempted to stab the other girl. Reardon fired his weapon, and Ma'Khia fell to the ground.
Ma'Khia was transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:30 p.m.
During a press conference Wednesday, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther urged the public to await the results of the investigation.
"We don't yet have all of the facts but we do know that a 16-year-old girl, a child of this community, tragically died last night," Ginther said Tuesday. “We believe transparency with the public is the utmost priority during this difficult time."
Bryant told CNN she didn't want her daughter to be remembered for the incident, but instead for the life she lived.
"She was fine. She was fun," Moore said. "She liked to dance. She did chores around the house."
Since the shooting, lawmakers, local officials and others have been commenting on the case. The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, a former Cleveland Cavaliers player, tweeted "You're next" with a photo of one of the officers at the scene. He then deleted the post, saying it was being used to "create more hate."
James tweeted again Wednesday. He said the system is broken and called for accountability.
"ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though! My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!" James wrote.
I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate -This isn’t about one officer. it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
Gov. Mike DeWine called the incident a "horrible tragedy," he said in a statement Wednesday.
"You cannot get over the fact that you have a teenager who's dead and that's a horrible, horrible tragedy," DeWine said. "We should have enough compassion to worry about every child who is shot in our cities. And we should not accept it."
Nina Turner, a former Ohio senator and who's running for Ohio's 11th district, tweeted "Justice won't be won overnight."
"They killed a child. Again. We can never look away," she wrote.
They killed a child. Again.— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) April 21, 2021
We can never look away.
Justice won’t be won overnight. https://t.co/viZAkSjm19
The case is currently being reviewed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Ginther said if the investigation warrants it, the officer will be held accountable. Reardon has been taken off duty pending the investigation.
He was hired in December 2019, according to the Columbus Division of Police.
"It's a tragedy," said Columbus Police Department Interim Chief Michael Woods said. "There's no other way to say it."