Ma’Khia Bryant’s family gathers for teen’s funeral in Ohio

Ma'Khia Bryant's family gathers for teen's funeral in Ohio thumbnail

Family and friends of the 16-year-old Ohio girl killed last week by Columbus police are set to say their final goodbyes Friday at a prominent church that has played host to other high-profile funerals.

Ceremonies are being held at the First Church of God in Columbus as loved ones honor Ma’Khia Bryant, the girl fatally shot by police during an April 20 confrontation that’s being probed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The shooting unfolded as Officer Nick Reardon arrived at the scene of a reported disturbance, body camera video has shown.

Reardon drew his weapon as a person wearing a black T-shirt is seen with an object in her right hand that she raises toward a second person before Reardon fires.

Police picked up what appeared to be a knife near the girl’s body, and an officer could be heard on camera saying: “She had a knife. She just went at her.”

The girl whom police shot and killed was identified as the 16-year-old Bryant. She was Black and the rookie officer who shot her white.

Bryant’s killing came within an hour of a Minneapolis jury convicting former officer Derek Chauvin, and has put Columbus — America’s 14th largest city with nearly 900,000 residents — on edge, following two other Black people killed by police.

First Church of God was also the venue for the funerals of Casey Goodson Jr. and Andre Hill.

Goodson, 23, was shot and killed by a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy on the doorstop of his grandmother’s home on Dec. 4, officials said. He’d just returned to the home with sandwiches he purchased for the family, relatives have said.

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Hill, 47, was killed on Dec. 22 when police responded to a call of a person repeatedly turning a car engine on and off again. An officer fatally shot Hill, believing he had a gun in his hand, authorities said.

The now-former officer’s attorney said his client mistook a key ring in Hill’s hand for a weapon. No gun was found at the scene.

This a developing story, please refresh here for updates.

Image: David K. LiDavid K. Li

David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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