A Columbus, Ohio, police officer fatally shot a teen girl Tuesday afternoon while responding to a call about someone armed with a knife, officials said.
Portions of officer body-camera footage shown by police hours after the incident appeared to show the girl attempting to stab another female just before the gunfire.
After the shooting, there appears to be a knife on the ground by the person who was shot.
Police said the video shows someone trying to stab one person on the ground and a second person.
City officials called the shooting a tragedy and urged calm and patience.
Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old in the foster system, was fatally shot, Franklin County Children Services said Tuesday night.
Mayor Andrew Ginther described the shooting as a “horrible, heartbreaking situation.”
“We know, based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community. But a family is grieving tonight,” he said.
Crowds react as investigators work at the scene where a teenaged girl was fatally shot by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, on April 20, 2021.Gaelen Morse / Reuters
The officer who fired was not identified Tuesday night.
Columbus Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said police were dispatched around 4:30 p.m. after “a caller said females were there trying to stab them and put their hands on them.”
Body-camera video appears to show a fight when the officer arrives. Two women or girls are in a confrontation, and one falls to the ground in front of the officer.
The girl who was later shot appears to move toward another person near a car, and the officer appears to repeat, “get down” before firing four times.
A person, apparently the officer who fired, says the girl went “at her.”
The video appears to show that officer later tell another officer who is attending to the shot girl, “she came at her with a knife.”
The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting an investigation into the shooting, and Woods said the information released Tuesday night was based on police records and did not include any interviews with officers or witnesses.
The officer, who has not been publicly identified, will be taken off street duty, Woods said.
Shortly after the shooting, a crowd gathered to protest near the home where the shooting occurred, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Woods said it was unusual to release police body-camera video so soon, but police wanted to be transparent about the incident and provide what answers it could. A public records process is underway to release the full video, he said.
The shooting happened just before the nation learned of the jury’s verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
In January, Columbus police chief Thomas Quinlan resigned his position after several deadly shootings by officers and deputies during his tenure.