Columbus officer who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant identified
Nicholas Reardon, a military-trained marksman, is the officer who shot the 16-year-old Bryant four times.
The officer who shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant has been identified as Nicholas Reardon, a military-trained marksman and U.S. Air National Guardsman who has been with the Columbus Police Department since 2019.
Reardon has been placed on leave after shooting the teenager four times in the chest. Bryant had reportedly called police for help, saying she was being attacked by girls outside of her house. When Reardon arrived, she was armed with a knife.
CPD released body camera footage of the shooting less than six hours after it occurred.
Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus called for patience at a press conference on Wednesday.
“I understand the outrage and emotion around this incident,” Pettus said. “A teenage girl is dead, and she’s dead at the hands of a police officer. Under any circumstances, that is a horrendous tragedy. But the video shows that there is more to this. It requires us to pause and take a close look at the sequence of events and, though it’s not easy, wait for the facts as determined by an independent investigation.”
According to accounts, Reardon is the son of retired Sgt. Edward “Ted” Reardon, a 32-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki commented on the shooting, saying 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.”
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther also urged patience and alluded to the fact that the teen had a knife. “How do we as a city and community come together to ensure that our kids never feel the need to resort to violence as a means of solving disputes or in order to protect themselves?” he asked.
Columbus, Ohio police officers have killed eight people since January of last year.
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.