COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Franklin County Coroner office has officially ruled the death of 16-year-old Ma’ Khia Bryant a homicide.
Bryant was shot four times by Columbus police officer Nicolas Reardon in April of this year.
According to police, Reardon was responding to a domestic dispute call when he arrived on the scene and encountered Bryant fighting with two other females.
Reardon’s body camera footage shows Bryant knock one female to the ground and then lunge at the other with what appears to be a knife in her hand. Within eleven seconds of arriving at the scene, Reardon fires four shots at Bryant. Shooting her in the back, lower torso, right shoulder and right thigh, according to the autopsy report.
The determination of homicide means Bryant’s death was caused by Reardon, however a homicide ruling does not guarantee murder charges.
The case was referred to the Franklin County prosecuting attorney on July 7 by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost shared that the shooting of Bryant by Officer Nicholas Reardon will be handed to a grand jury and they will decide whether to charge Reardon.
The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office released the following statement on Monday afternoon (August 16), WCMH-TV reports:
“The autopsy report of Ma’Khia Bryant was released today by the office of Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz. Earlier this summer, this matter was assigned to Special Prosecutors H. Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer as the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney serves as legal counsel for Franklin County Children Services. Prosecutor Tyack continues his commitment to the community to ensure transparency and justice in each case that comes to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor Tyack has complete confidence in Mr. Merkle and Mr. Shroyer and their talent, experience, and professional ethics. We will continue to keep the community apprised of the status of this matter as events warrant.”