Teacher describes teen shot by Columbus police as a girl with a bright future

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was killed this week, shot four times in the chest by Columbus police officer Nicholas Reardon Tuesday afternoon.

Body camera footage showed the teen swinging a knife toward two other girls before the fatal shots were fired.

As the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation oversees the investigation into the deadly shooting, those who knew Ma’Khia are sharing their memories of her.

FOX 8 sister station WCMH spoke with Ma’Khia’s teachers.

Ma’Khia Bryant

Independence High School business education teacher Austin Owens said Ma’Khia emailed him about her 5-year plan the same day she was shot.

“The language she used in her five-year plan was somebody who desperately wanted better for her life,” he said to WCMH.

“And she wanted to make her parent proud. She wanted to be a productive citizen. I’m not paraphrasing – these are her exact words.”

“She was going to run the world and she wasn’t going to be ostentatious about it,” Owens said. “She was going to do it.”

Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods answered questions Wednesday about Officer Reardon’s actions.

Columbus police policy allows officers to use deadly force when faced with someone with a weapon, according to his comments.

“There is an active assault going on in which someone could lose their life, the officer can use their firearm to protect that third person.” Woods said.

Woods said Ma’Khia was shot in the chest because officers are trained to stop the threat in front of them, which means aiming at a person’s center mass.

“When you try to start shooting legs, or arms, rounds miss and then they continue on and there are people behind that, that could be in danger that are not committing anything,” Woods said.

Protesters took to the streets a second night, chanting, “Say her name!”

President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

“She was a child. We’re thinking of her friends and family, in the communities that are hurting and grieving her loss,” Psaki said.

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