COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Division of Police on Wednesday identified the 16-year-old girl killed by an officer Tuesday afternoon and the officer who fired the shots.
The teen was identified as Ma’Khia Bryant and the officer as Nicholas Reardon, who has been with Columbus Police since December 2019.
According to voices heard in the police body-worn camera footage, Bryant was attacking another female when she was shot by Reardon.
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, CDP Interim Chief Michael Woods confirmed Bryant's and Reardon's identities, while also showing three additional body-worn camera videos from officers at the scene of the shooting, including Reardon's, as well as two 911 calls the department received.
“Bottom line, did Ma’Khia Bryant have to die yesterday? How did we get here,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said. “This is a failure on part of our community. Some are guilty, but all of us are responsible.”
Ginther said the external investigation will determine if Reardon performed any wrongdoing, and said he will be held accountable if so. Ginther said transparency and accountability are “absolutely critical” to the community during the time of crisis.
The first 911 call was received at 4:32 p.m., officers were dispatched at 4:35 p.m. and a second 911 call was received at 9:44 p.m. The second call said officers arrived on scene.
Screaming can be heard in the background of the first 911 call.
Woods said officers on the scene performed life-saving measures to Bryant "almost immediately after the shots were fired. Those included an assessment of injuries and wounds and CPR."
He said a notification went out 90 seconds after the shooting that a medic was needed on scene, which was arrived six minutes after the shooting.
The girl was taken to Mount Carmel East Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
Ginther said information will be released with the public as it is able.
“We don’t yet have all the facts, but we do know a 16-year-old girl, a child in this community, tragically died last night,” Ginther said. “We released the officer’s body-worn camera footage as soon as possible. We’ll release all other information we can as soon as we can.”
Ginther said they must be careful not to compromise the investigation by Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
“We believe transparency with the public is the utmost priority during this difficult time,” he said.
At a White House press briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the event "tragic."
“The killing of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant by the Columbus Police is tragic. She was a child," @PressSec told me this afternoon, adding that @POTUS Biden has been briefed on the shooting.— Taylor Popielarz (@TaylorPopielarz) April 21, 2021
My @SpectrumNewsDC report from the White House: pic.twitter.com/qXEIuZLFXH
"The killing of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant by the Columbus Police is tragic," Psaki said, when asked by Spectrum News' Taylor Popielarz President Joe Biden was briefed on the incident.
"She was a child. We're thinking of her friends and family and the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss," Psaki continued. "Our focus is on working to address systemic racism and implicit bias head-on. And, of course, to passing laws and legislation that will put much needed reforms into place at police departments around the country."
“This afternoon a young woman tragically lost her life,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther tweeted Tuesday.
— as they do with all CPD-involved shootings. We will share information that we can as soon as it becomes available. I’m asking for residents to remain calm and allow BCI to gather the facts.— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) April 20, 2021
A crowd had gathered Tuesday night at the scene on Legion Lane, which police had partially blocked off to traffic. Others gathered at the city’s police headquarters to protest, a week after officers pepper-sprayed a group that tried to enter the headquarters over the police killing of a man who had a gun in a hospital emergency room.
Hundreds of protesters pushed past police barriers outside the headquarters and approached officers as city officials were showing the bodycam video inside. Many chanted, “Say her name!” While others signified the victim’s age by yelling, “she was just a kid.” Officers with bicycles pushed protesters back and threatened to deploy pepper spray on the crowd.
The shooting happened about 25 minutes before a judge read the verdict convicting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Floyd.
Kimberly Shepherd, 50, who has lived in the neighborhood for 17 years, said she knew the victim.
“The neighborhood has definitely went through its changes, but nothing like this,” Shepherd said of the shooting. “But this is the worst thing that has ever happened out here and unfortunately it is at the hands of police.”
Shepherd and her neighbor Jayme Jones, 51, had celebrated the guilty verdict of Chauvin. But things changed quickly, she said.
“We were happy about the verdict. But you couldn’t even enjoy that,” Shepherd said. “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.”
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
Malissa Thomas-St. Clair, the founder of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children, heard the news of the shooting shortly after the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin.
"It is absolutely devastating," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.