Ma'Khia Bryant's tearful mom says she now knows what it's like to 'lose a child' like Breonna Taylor's family
THE grieving mother of Ma'Khia Bryant has likened her loss to the family of Breonna Taylor, tearfully admitting: "now I know what it's like to lose a child".
Paula Bryant's daughter Ma'Khia, 16, was shot dead by police in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday during an apparent knife fight sparked by an unmade at her foster home.
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The teen's death came mere hours after former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Paula Bryant said she was at the dentist when she got the call about what happened to Ma'Khia.
"This is so unreal, the hurt that I feel, I'm devastated. I was shocked when I heard the news. It was unbelievable," she told CNN. "No parent should have to go through this."
Ma'Khia was in foster care at the time of her death. The reasons as to why are unclear, and it wasn't addressed by Paula in her interview with CNN.
Describing Ma'Khia as "peaceful and loving", Paula did say she had hoped to be reunited with her daughter soon.
Paula said she last saw her on the Thursday before her death when she told her she'd made the honor roll at school.
"I've always had sympathy for the Breonna Taylor story, and the family and her friends and her situation," Paula said. "Now I know what it feels like to lose a child."
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot dead in her own home in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13, 2020, when police served a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night.
Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, believed they were being robbed when three officers stormed inside. He fired once, striking an officer in the leg. The cops returned fire with a hail of bullets, striking Taylor six times.
Paula continued: "I'm a single mother of five kids and, you know, now Ma'Khia is gone and I only have four kids."
Fighting back tears, Paula added: "That is so hard for me to say."
Paula said she still hasn't been able to bring herself to watch all of the bodycam footage of the shooting, showing her daughter's final moments of life.
"I want to remember Ma'Khia, you know, the good things about Ma'Khia, the loving things about Ma'Khia," she said.
"Ma'Khia I believe is in heaven. She's an angel."
On Thursday, Angela Moore, who was fostering Ma'Khia, revealed the teen had been feuding with two other girls over an unmade bed shortly before the fight that would end her life.
Moore said two of her former foster children had come to her home in Columbus on Tuesday to celebrate her birthday when the young women and Ma'Khia began arguing over housekeeping.
"It was over keeping the house clean," Moore said. "The older one told them to clean up the house because 'Mom doesn't like the house dirty. So that's how it all started."
"You're not the guardian of me," Bryant apparently told one of the girls, Moore said when recounting the story.
"They argue all the time," Moore recalled, "but I never thought it would escalate like that."
Moore returned home to find out that Ma'Khia had been shot four times.
"I never in my worst nightmare would have thought it would ever come to this," She said, adding Ma'Khia was "fun" and loved to dance.
Officials in Columbus released body camera footage of the shooting on Tuesday, within hours of the fatal incident unfolding.
In the video, Ma'Khia is seen lunging at another young woman with what appears to be a knife in her hand.
Four shots are her ringing out and the teen immediately slumps to the floor.
The officer responsible for the shooting has since been identified as Nicholas Reardon, a former Air National Guard Marksman who joined Columbus PD in December 2019.
He has since been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is carried out.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has urged the public not to jump to conclusions until all the facts in the investigation have been established.
"We don't yet have all of the facts but we do know that a 16-year-old girl, a child of this community, tragically died last night," Ginther said on Wednesday.
"Bottom line: Did Ma'Khia Bryant need to die yesterday?" he added. "How did we get here? This is a failure on the part of our community. Some are guilty but all of us are responsible."
Ginther said investigators will determine "if the officer involved was wrong, and if he was we will hold him accountable."
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