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State probe of Ma'Khia Bryant shooting complete; case in hands of local prosecutor

The 16-year-old girl was killed by a Columbus, Ohio, police officer in a deadly encounter caught on body camera.
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State police completed their investigation into the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant and forwarded findings to the local prosecutor, officials said Wednesday.

Columbus police Officer Nick Reardon shot the teen on April 20, just before the nation learned of the jury's verdict against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

The incident was captured on Reardon's body-worn camera.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has completed its review, according to Attorney General David Yost. He declined to reveal any details that could suggest if charges could be brought against Reardon by Franklin County prosecutors.

Wake And Funeral Held For Ma'Khia Bryant In Columbus, OH
A mourner holds a funeral program during services for 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant at First Church of God on April 30, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.Scott Olson / Getty Images file

"The process needs to work," Yost told reporters. "We are providing more information right now and volunteering that the investigation is completed and forwarded to the prosecuting attorney's office in an effort to reassure the community that we in fact are on top of this."

Two special prosecutors will review the findings, which will eventually be brought before a grand jury, according to a statement by Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Gary Tyack.

"There is not presently a timeline available for when these matters will go before" a grand jury, the statement said.

Rep for the Columbus Police Department and union could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

Reardon was responding to a reported disturbance and drew his weapon as he rolled up to the altercation, video showed. Police have said the footage shows someone trying to stab a person on the ground, as well as a second person.

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.

The girl whom police shot and killed was identified as Bryant.

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."

Bryant was in the foster care system, Franklin County Children Services confirmed.

Shortly after the fatal shooting, Bryant family called the girl's death "tragic and unnecessary."

Don Bryant, a cousin of Bryant's mother, said police should have used "de-escalation tactics" and said the teen's death "could have been avoided."