The identity of the Columbus police officer who shot dead 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant has been released.
On Wednesday afternoon, Interim Police Chief Michael Woods identified officer Nicholas Reardon as the man who fired the gunshots that killed the Ohio teenager on Tuesday, approximately 20 minutes before ex-cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Reardon was placed on administrative leave following the incident, and an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is ongoing.
In addition, Woods also released two 9-1-1 calls that were placed prior to the deadly encounter.
Per The Columbus Dispatch, in the first call – which was placed at 4:32 PM local time – screaming can be heard as the caller asks police to come, saying someone is trying to stab them. The dispatcher tries to obtain more information, but after more screaming, the call is disconnected.
Ma'Khia's mother, Paula Bryant, has said it was Ma'Khia who called the cops. She claims her daughter called them because a group of girls were fighting outside her house and she needed help.
In the second call, which the caller likely placed while officers were already en route to the scene, the caller said that police had already arrived.
The body camera footage – which city and police officials made the unprecedented decision to release six hours after Bryant's death – shows Reardon and two other officers arriving at the scene, which was the driveway of a house on Legion Lane, where a group of young people were in a scuffle. The video appears to show Bryant pushing or swinging at one person, who falls to the ground.
Bryant seems to then swing what looks like a knife at a girl who is on the hood of a car, which is when Reardon fired his weapon, more than once, striking Bryant.
Woods said two police officers performed CPR on Bryant before authorities arrived and that Columbus fire medics were called 90 seconds after shots were fired.
Six minutes after the shooting, an ambulance arrived and transported Bryant to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:21 PM local time.
Hazel Bryant, Ma'Khia's aunt, said her niece lived in a foster home on the street where she was killed and that she had gotten into an altercation with someone else at the home. She said her niece did have a knife but maintained Ma'Khia had dropped it before she was shot by the cop.
Shortly after the shooting, protesters with "Black Lives Matter" signs, megaphones and loudspeakers gathered about a half-block away from where Ma'Khia was killed.
Her mom, Paula, told 10 WBNS Tuesday night that her daughter was a "good student, on the honor roll and generally a peaceful person."
"Ma'Khia had a motherly nature about her," Paula said. "She promoted peace. And that's something that I want to always be remembered. Killing of these children need to stop. Senseless killing."
Meanwhile, the Columbus branch of the NAACP wants to know: "What threat did this 16-year-old girl pose to the police officer? What steps were taken to deescalate the situation? Why wasn't a taser or pepper spray used? Finally, how does a call for help result in the death of a 16-year-old child?"