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Officer shoots & kills Black teenager holding a knife, bodycam video shows

COLUMBUS, Oh. / CNN — A police officer shot and killed a Black teenage girl on Tuesday after she tried to cut two females with a knife, officials said and body camera footages shows.

The girl’s mother, Paula Bryant, and the Franklin County Children’s Services identified the teen as Ma’Khia Bryant. Although local law enforcement identified her as 15-years-old at a news conference Tuesday, the FCCS said the girl’s age as 16.

“Ma’Khia was a foster child, who was under the care of Franklin County Children Services,” the FCCS said. “This was a tragic incident and FCCS is continuing its involvement with the family throughout this difficult time.”

Police received a call just after 4:32 p.m. indicating “females were there trying to stab them and put their hands on them,” Columbus Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said.

When police arrived, the first officer on the scene approaches a group in the driveway of a home, according to that officer’s bodycam footage.

The video shows a teen quickly move toward another girl with what appears to be a knife, and the girl falls to the ground. The officer yells, “Hey, hey, hey, hey. Get down!” before she appears to lunge at a second girl with the knife, according to the video.

The officer tells her to “Get Down! Get down! Get down! Get down!” and then fires four shots in the direction of the teenager.

One officer attends to the shooting victim, who police are not identifying. Officers assessed the girl for injuries and called a medic, which is protocol, Woods said.

“Ma’Khia had a motherly nature about her. She promoted peace. That is something that I want to always be remembered,” Paula Bryant told TV station WBNS.

Police did not have any information on whether the two females involved were injured, Woods said.

“We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said at the news conference. “But a family is grieving tonight and this young 15-year-old girl will never be coming home.”

The shooting comes the same day former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd.

Floyd family attorney Ben Crump tweeted, “As we breathed a collective sigh of relief today, a community in Columbus felt the sting of another police shooting.”

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