The officer who fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant as she lunged at two people with a knife is a 23-year-old who had been on the force for 16 months, according to a personnel file obtained by Fox News.
The Columbus Police Department identified the officer involved in the shooting as Nicholas Reardon on Wednesday.
Reardon, who turns 24 next month, joined the Columbus police force in December 2019. He then underwent a one-year probationary period, during which new officers are supervised and prove their on-the-job capabilities.
On Dec. 14 of last year, Reardon’s probationary status ended. Just four months after that, he was called to east Columbus on a report of an attempted stabbing, which was the scene of the fatal shooting on Tuesday.
The first 911 call came in at 4:32 p.m., with a female telling the dispatcher, “[indistinguishable]…trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put their hands on our grandma. Get here now.”
As Reardon pulled up the scene and got out of his car, Bryant can be seen on bodycam and surveillance footage lunging at one woman with an apparent knife. Bryant then turns and lunges at a second woman with the weapon raised, at which point Officer Reardon fired four shots, fatally striking her.
Body camera footage shows a young girl attacking multiple people with what appeared to be a knife in Columbus, at which point a police officer fatally shot her. (Columbus Police Department) (Columbus Police Department)
The 23-year-old also has military training as a member of the U.S. Air National Guard, according to local media reports.
He graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in 2016, according to the local Columbia media outlet This Week Community News.
Reardon attended Bishop Watterson Catholic School in Columbus. The school’s wrestling team noted in early 2017 that he “earned expert marksman for M4A1,” an assault rifle.
Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
In Reardon’s personnel file, he marked “yes” under having “a relationship as defined in the City’s Nepotism Policy,” meaning he has a family member or business associate who also works for the city of Columbus.
The identity of this person is redacted in Reardon’s personnel file. However, in May of 2020, the Columbus Division of Police congratulated a retiring sergeant who is reportedly related to Reardon.
The post noted that the retiring sergeant’s son “is currently a Columbus Police recruit.” This was at the time when Reardon was in his probationary period to become a police officer.
Reardon has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.