A 16-year-old Black girl was fatally shot by an officer outside her home after she called the police for help on Tuesday afternoon, according to her family, reports NPR.
The girl has been identified as Ma’Khia Bryant by her aunt, Hazel Bryant.
Bryant allegedly called officers at about 4:30 p.m. local time when a group of “older kids” threatened her with assault, her aunt told Ohio Statehouse News Bureau reporter Andy Chow. She did not elaborate on the nature of the threat.
The Columbus Police Department could not say on Tuesday whether Bryant was the one to call for assistance before she was shot.
Bryant was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, where she later died.
At a Tuesday night press conference, the Columbus Police Department released an edited version of the body camera video worn by the officer who shot Bryant. Police have not made public the name of that officer.
Interim Chief of Police Michael Woods told reporters the officer will be pulled off patrol duty as the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation looks into Tuesday’s shooting.
Columbus Police showed the video a second time in slow motion during Tuesday night’s news conference. Woods said the video shows Bryant holding a knife as she pushes two girls. He said police believe she is attempting to stab both girls during the fight.
It’s unclear, based on the footage, at what point Bryant gets ahold of the knife.
The fatal shooting occurred shortly before the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was announced in the death of George Floyd. It quickly drew at least a dozen Black Lives Matter protesters to the scene, WBNS News reported.
The outlet said the demonstrators were on their way to rally in downtown Columbus over the guilty verdict in the Minneapolis trial where the former officer in that case was found guilty on three charges, including murder.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther called Tuesday afternoon’s events a “tragic day.”
He said, “We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. But a family is grieving tonight.”