Neighbors who live near the home in Columbus, Ohio where a 16-year-old girl was fatally shot by a police officer Tuesday afternoon told Fox News that the incident makes them feel “very uncomfortable” — and added it “could happen literally anywhere.”
Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, has been identified by her family as the person who was killed in east Columbus after someone called the police. Body camera footage released by police showed the teen attacking two other people with what appeared to be a knife before a responding officer fired multiple shots. She later was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
“It makes you feel very uncomfortable and it gives you angst. It gives you anxiety,” Ira Graham III, who lives several houses down from where the shooting unfolded, told Fox News.
“You hear about these things happening across the country and it’s a little different when it is in Minneapolis or it’s in some distant state or even another part of town, there is a distance to it that makes it less personal to you to some extent,” he added. “But when it happens right outside your home, it just gives a whole new dynamic and you realize that it could happen literally anywhere. It’s not a good feeling.”
Graham said he was home on Tuesday when shots rang out. He said his 12-year-old son approached him and asked if what he had heard himself was gunfire – and Graham told him to stay inside while he went outdoors to investigate.
“That’s when I saw the young lady on the ground getting CPR by one of the police officers,” Graham told Fox News, referring to Bryant.
Graham added that a relative of Bryant’s he spoke with at the scene told him that a group of kids came to that property to confront her and that she had been assaulted prior to her being shot. That account could not be independently verified.
“I saw the beginning of the argument [between the girls],” another neighbor, Donovon Brinson, told Fox News on Wednesday. “The girls were definitely getting really boisterous with each other and using belligerent terms. It’s sad.”
Brinson also said his garage door camera captured the event and he has handed the footage over to investigators.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling the case – but as of midday Wednesday, officials have not yet revealed what sparked the confrontation that ultimately led to the Columbus police officer firing at Bryant.
One longtime resident of the neighborhood described the area to Fox News as “pretty quiet.”
“I lived here for 14 years and I’ve never seen a problem with law enforcement and residents in the neighborhood,” said Donald Brinson, who is Donovon’s father. “The law enforcement that were called for any incident in the past were very polite and respectful. We never had anything that escalated to gunfire.”