COLUMBUS, Ohio — A neighbor of the Ohio teen shot and killed by police said he saw the chaotic events that led to the fatal incident — and that video from his security camera led him to believe the officer had no choice but to fire, according to a reports.
“They were calling each other the B-word, so I figured it was just a girl fight,” Donovan Brinson, who pulled up into his driveway as the fight unfolded Tuesday, told the Columbus Dispatch.
He said the yelling escalated moments later when he took his dog out back, so he went back into his home.
And when police arrived, he said he heard four shots as his wife, Rachel, dove to the floor.
Brinson said he looked out the window of his laundry room and saw the mortally wounded Ma’Khia Bryant lying on the ground.
A still image from the bodycam footage shows the scene after the shooting. (Columbus Police Department)
He quickly thought of his surveillance camera affixed to the garage and watched the footage, which captured the fight and the flash of a knife.
“It was violent and all just happened so fast,” Brinson told the news outlet, citing a girl dressed in pink who was the second female involved in the altercation with Bryant.
Brinson, who provided his video to investigators, said he believed that had police not taken immediate action, more people could have been killed.
Brinson’s 26-second video — shot from much farther away than the footage released by police — shows as many as seven people either in front of Bryant’s foster home or emerging from inside, as a patrol car rolls up, followed by a police SUV.
The foster mother told the news organization she was at work when the incident happened and declined further comment.
Another neighbor, Ira Graham III, a photographer and videographer who was working at home, said he heard the gunshots Tuesday afternoon.
“I saw a bunch of cop cars coming down the street,” he told the Dispatch, adding that he saw cops performing CPR on Bryant and that he later saw the police video of Bryant’s actions.
“I believe in truth and facts. Video doesn’t lie,” he said. “She was in full attack mode.”
The girl “was literally aiming a knife at this young lady,” Graham said of the female in pink. “She needed to be stopped at that point. That young lady’s life was at stake.”
The New York Post reported the officer, who has been placed on paid administrative leave, has been identified in as Nicholas Reardon. He is also a US Air National Guardsman.
LeBron James posted a photograph on social media on Wednesday of Reardon, Law Officer reported. The loathing tweet said, “YOU’RE NEXT. #ACCOUNTABILITY.” James received overwhelming criticism for the message as many viewed it as threatening the officer’s safety. He has reportedly removed the thoughtless post.