Just days ago, the tragic news emerged that teenager, Ma'Khia Bryant, had been shot dead by police after reportedly calling them herself for help.
Now, Bryant's family have spoken out and they're planning to take legal action.
Here's the full story...
Now, the incident unfolded on April 20th in Columbus, Ohio.
At around 4pm, police officers responded to an emergency call over an attempted stabbing.
Upon their arrival, they found a sixteen-year-old girl, who has since been identified as Ma'Khia Bryant, attempting to stab another girl.
After attempting to diffuse the situation, one of the officers opened fire and, despite CPR being performed, Ma'Khia later died in the hospital.
Bodycam footage provided by the police shows an altercation with a group of individuals outside a house...
15 Year-Old girl, Ma’Khia Bryant Fatally shot today by Columbus Division of Police !!!! RIp baby girl 💕🙏🏽 https://t.co/TfHXKfRo4u— Duece Duece ✨ (@Duece Duece ✨)1618970829.0
Before one of them - said to be Ma'Khia Bryant - appeared to lunge at another member of the group with a knife in hand.
Then, a police officer, who has since been identified as Officer Nicholas Reardon, approached the group in the driveway and shouted "get down" before firing several shots, fatally injuring the girl.
Reardon can be heard saying in the footage, "She had a knife, she just went at her."
A bystander, however, shouted that she was just a child.
As soon as the news of Ma'Khai's death broke, Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation launched an investigation into the events that took place.
People are showing up to the scene and saying to @ColumbusPolice officers “On the day of the George Floyd verdict.” https://t.co/TJavyBU3EI— Lacey Crisp (@Lacey Crisp)1618956981.0
Mayor Andrew Ginther on Tuesday told reporters that information will be released as quickly as possible before adding that, as a father, he was grieved by what happened.
"The city of Columbus lost a sixteen-year-old girl today. We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community," he said.
Three white officers say, "blue lives matter" to a group of black residents at the scene where police shot and kill… https://t.co/3CKoJGnanV— so called WhatRiot (@so called WhatRiot)1618966649.0
"But a family is grieving tonight. And this young sixteen-year-old girl will never be coming home."
Protesters quickly gathered at the scene...
Just moments after #DerekChauvin was given a guilty verdict, protestors have gathered in SE Columbus after a police… https://t.co/XTGOwaA2Yf— Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH (@Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH)1618957626.0
Many holding signs saying: "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
"It is absolutely devastating that I am driving home from an appointment in elation, honking my horn in jubilation, filled with hope in thinking there's maybe a turn that the nation deserves, and then simultaneously all of those feelings of positivity brought down to devastation in the blink of an eye is devastating," Thomas-St. Clair said.
Officer Reardon has since been placed on paid leave...
The Columbus Division of Police have confirmed that it was officer Nicholas Reardon, that shot and killed 16-year-o… https://t.co/V6QFRgJzEk— Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH (@Jamilah Muhammad - Spectrum News 1 OH)1619031165.0
And the incident is currently being investigated.
But, of course, opinions on Reardon's actions that day are mixed.
Officer Nicholas Reardon shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant. She was 16 and she only had a knife and was shot 4 times.… https://t.co/QeJQb81gf2— Destiny Brown (she/her) (@Destiny Brown (she/her))1619097132.0
Many have slammed him for shooting a sixteen-year-old girl, and have said that it is yet another example of systematic racism.
Students from the Ohio State University even took over their student's union...
Ohio State students take over student union to demand OSU cut ties with Columbus Police after the killing of Ma'Khi… https://t.co/8gMdwXHU96— Julie Polter (@Julie Polter)1619055100.0
Chanting Ma'Khia's name in the call for justice.
Yet, on the other hand, others have applauded Officer Reardon for saving the life of the young girl at risk of being stabbed...
Officer Nicholas Reardon is a hero and I think it's disgusting that the news is ignoring the truth and trying to ma… https://t.co/1gj0dZQsbL— Lavern Spicer (@Lavern Spicer)1619045366.0
With some even hailing him as a hero.
The Columbus Police Department has also defended Reardon's actions.
The department's interim police chief, Michael Woods, said in a press conference:
"One of the difficult things with that is we don't train to shoot the leg because that's a small target. We train to shoot center mass to what is available to stop that threat."
He went on to detail that, because of the threat Ma'Khai was posing, Reardon was forced to shoot "the largest part of a body that is available."
"There was a threat going on, a deadly force threat that was going on, so the officer was trained to shoot center mass – the largest part of a body that is available to them."
"When you try and start shooting legs or arms, rounds miss and they continue on and there are people behind that who could be in danger that are not committing anything, so we try to minimize danger to anyone else if we have to use our firearm."
HAPPENING NOW - 4/12/21 - 2pm An update on the police-involved shooting on April 20, 2021. https://t.co/pHFDZHJOpl— Columbus Ohio Police (@Columbus Ohio Police)1619028290.0
He added that the force's firearms training dictates that an officer fires until the threat is over and that the use of force is authorized if the safety of the officer or a third person is in jeopardy.
But now, days after her death...
Her family have started to speak out.
Ma'Khia's aunt, Hazel Bryant, first told reporters that her niece had got into a disagreement with another girl at the foster home in which she resided.
She later said the teen called the police, her father, and grandmother for help, and grabbed a knife to protect herself.
"She was a good kid. She was loving," Hazel Bryant said.
"Yeah, she had issues but that's OK. All of us go through sh*t... She didn't deserve to die like a dog in the street."
And now Ma'Khia's foster mom, Angela Moore, has opened up about the events leading up to her tragic death...
Ma'Khia Bryant reportedly argued with 2 other teens about the house being messy and an unmade bed before being shot...
Chris Mitchell lives a few houses down from the place where Ma'Khia Bryant was killed. "How come a bunch of celeb… https://t.co/33a6oDehVy— Adora Namigadde (@Adora Namigadde)1619106474.0
Moore said 2 of her foster children came over on Tuesday for her birthday when Bryant started an argument.
"It was over keeping the house clean. The older one told them to clean up the house because 'Mom doesn't like the house dirty,'" Moore recalled being told by one of the girls...
Her Name Was Ma’Khia Bryant Say Her Name #BLM ⚖️ when will it end will it be resolved will it be clarified https://t.co/Dq1yokE6dj— MAXWELL (@MAXWELL)1619071691.0
"So that's how it all started," she added.
The foster mom said that the girls "argue all the time," adding that she "never thought it would escalate like that."
Ma’Khia Bryant deserved a society that would protect her childhood, that would allow her to live a fulfilling life.… https://t.co/Bq9ocInc9F— March For Our Lives (@March For Our Lives)1619016414.0
Moore said she got a frantic call from one of the girls before Ma'Kiah lunged at her.
"'Mom, get home! Where are you? They're going crazy,'" Moore said the woman told her. "She said they shot Ma'Kiah and I said, 'Huh?' It was just crazy."
This is a memorial for Ma'Khia Bryant. I'm spending time in her neighborhood trying to learn more about who she was. https://t.co/RRcabh8n57— Adora Namigadde (@Adora Namigadde)1619103634.0
Moore said she then started to pray when she got text messages from people saying, "I'm sorry."
When she arrived home, a police officer told her Ma'Khia had died.
CW: Violence against Black Girls, Police Brutality, Ma’Khia Bryant This is the most beautiful and humanizing resp… https://t.co/PQYRyTAGPv— Martha Aguirre-Rubio (@Martha Aguirre-Rubio)1619115116.0
"She was fun. She liked to dance. She did chores around the house," Moore said. "I never in my worst nightmare would have thought it would ever come to this," she added.
Now it's reported that the family will take action.
This is #MakhiaBryant sister speaking in this video and you can hear the pain in her voice on LIVE as she’s explain… https://t.co/Uz87gqfeIt— Dustin🐝 (@Dustin🐝)1619040698.0
The birth family of the Bryant who was shot by police outside her foster home Tuesday are planning a lawsuit according to reports.
Her family say someone needs to held accountable.
#MakhiaBryant should still be alive. #SayHerName— kerry washington (@kerry washington)1619034822.0
Her cousin Deja Torrence explained:
"Someone has to be held accountable. The family just doesn't want this to be another senseless killing that goes under the rug and gets overlooked."
"We're talking about a kid. She's a kid. She's 16 defending herself from 20-something-year-olds."
Rest in peace.