In addition to the fatal lower torso shot, Bryant was struck in the back, right shoulder and right thigh.
An autopsy from the Franklin County coroner’s office has revealed Ma’Khia Bryant was shot four times when she was killed by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio on April 20.
Her cause of death was deemed gunshot wounds to the torso, and the manner of death was a homicide. In addition to the lower torso, she was struck in the back, right shoulder and right thigh.
A photo display and her casket are shown at Ma’Khia Bryant’s funeral service at the First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio earlier this year. The teen was shot and killed on April 20 by a Columbus police officer answering a call for a domestic dispute. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
However, a homicide ruling does not guarantee murder charges. The case was referred to the Franklin County prosecuting attorney on July 7 by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost shared that the shooting of Bryant by Officer Nicholas Reardon will be handed to a grand jury. Another police shooting death, that of Andrew Teague, fatally shot on March 8, was also referred to the district attorney’s office.
Teague was shot and killed following a lengthy police pursuit. Wanted on a felonious assault warrant related to a shooting on Feb. 2, the 43-year-old exchanged fire with officers, and a gun was recovered from the scene.
“BCI is notifying the public of the advancement of these cases in an effort to be as transparent as permissible under the law, respecting the competing needs for legal due process,” Yost’s office said.
According to a local report by ABC 6, the Bryant case was assigned to Special Prosecutors H. Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer due to a conflict with Franklin County Children Services, for which the Franklin County prosecuting attorney is legal counsel.
Bryant was in foster care at the time of her death.
The 16-year-old had been involved in a conflict with young women who had previously lived in the same foster home where she resided. She was holding a knife and lunged at one of them as officers stood by, and Reardon fired, hitting her four times.
As previously reported, Bryant was shot just 20 minutes before the announcement of a guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.
At the time of the shooting, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said of Bryant, “She was a child. We’re thinking of her friends and family in the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss.”
“We know that police violence disproportionately impacts Black and Latino people in communities and that Black women and girls, like Black men and boys, experience higher rates of police violence,” said Psaki. “We also know that there are particular vulnerabilities that children in foster care, like Ma’Khia, face.”
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