A neighbor, whose surveillance footage captured the police shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant, said he believes the Columbus, Ohio police officer "reacted with what he thought was his best judgment" given that he "only had seconds to respond."
After running errands Tuesday afternoon, Donavon Brinson had pulled into his driveway to discover the commotion among several girls outside.
He said the woman across the street from where he resides on Legion Lane has fostered girls over multiple years, so he wasn't concerned at first.
During the altercation, the girls called each other "the B-word," so Brinson told The Columbus Dispatch that he considered the heated conflict "just a girl fight."
But when Brinson took his dog out back, the yelling had escalated. He went inside. When the Columbus Police arrived, he heard four shots ring out. Brinson's wife hit the floor. Peeking through the laundry room window, he saw the fatal aftermath.
While what happened is tragic, Brinson said, the scene occurred so fast that he didn't see how the responding officer could've had time to have done anything else.
More people might have died had police not taken action, Brinson added.
Brinson has since handed the 26-second garage surveillance over to authorities. The clip captures as many as seven individuals either in front of the foster home or emerging from inside as an SUV and accompanying police cruiser arrive.
After reviewing the video evidence, Brinson told The Faulkner Focus during an exclusive television interview Thursday that he believes the officer "reacted with what he thought was his best judgment," noting that few options were present.
"From my point of view watching this, unfortunately, the whole scenario put him in a bad spot regardless of what the situation was," Brinson said.
Brinson deliberated the possible outcomes: "He could have either not fired and the young lady in pink could have got stabbed in the neck or would have been fatally injured and then responded and shot and that would have been two young ladies possibly dead. Or he could have responded the way that he did and unfortunately one lady lost her life in the incident that probably could have been avoided."
Down the street, Ira Graham III was working from home and heard the gunshots. Graham has lived in the neighborhood for 19 years. While he didn't know Bryant, he had seen the 16-year-old walking down the street at times.
Graham traveled down to the house and observed officers performing CPR on Bryant. "I believe in truth and facts. Video doesn't lie," he said of the police footage. "She was in full attack mode." Bryant was "aiming a knife at this young lady," Graham said, referring to the female victim in the bright pink sweatsuit. "She needed to be stopped at that point. That young lady's life was at stake."
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