Columbus Police Officer Fatally Shoots Black Teen Swinging Knife

Protesters march in downtown Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Police shot and killed a teenage girl Tuesday afternoon in Columbus just as the verdict was being announced in the trial for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. (AP Photo)

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Columbus police shot and killed a teenage girl who swung at two other people with a knife Tuesday, according to bodycam footage from the officer who fired the shots just minutes before the verdict in George Floyd’s killing was read.

Officials with the Columbus Division of Police showed a segment of the footage Tuesday night just hours after the shooting took place in a neighborhood on the city’s east side. The decision to swiftly release the video was a departure from protocol as the force faces immense scrutiny from the public following a series of recent high-profile police killings that have led to clashes.

The 10-second clip begins with the officer getting out of his car at a house where police had been dispatched after someone called 911 saying they were being physically threatened, Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at the news conference. The officer takes a few steps toward a group of people in the driveway when the girl, who was Black, starts swinging a knife wildly at another girl or woman, who falls backward. The officer shouts several times to get down.

The girl with the knife then charges at another girl or woman who is pinned against a car.

From a few feet away, with people on either side of him, the officer fires four shots, and the teen slumps to the ground. A black-handled blade similar to a kitchen knife or steak knife lies on the sidewalk next to her.

A man immediately yells at the officer, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”

The officer responds, “She had a knife. She just went at her.”

The race of the officer wasn’t clear.

The girl was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. It remains unclear if anyone else was injured.

Police did not identify the girl or her age Tuesday. One family member said she was 15, while another said she was 16.

The shooting happened minutes before the verdict in the killing of George Floyd was announced. Protesters who had gathered peacefully after that verdict to call for police reform and accountability quickly shifted their focus to the killing of the girl. The crowd of about 100 could be heard chanting outside police headquarters as city officials offered their condolences to the family and acknowledged the rarity of showing bodycam footage so soon after a police shooting.

Woods said state law allows police to use deadly force to protect themselves or others, and investigators will determine whether this shooting was such an instance.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther mourned the loss of the young victim but defended the officer’s use of deadly force.

“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, outside the briefing, hundreds of protesters pushed past barriers outside police headquarters and approached officers as city officials were showing the bodycam video inside. Many chanted, “Say her name!” While others signified the victim’s age by yelling, “she was just a kid!” Officers with bicycles pushed protesters back and threatened to deploy pepper spray on the crowd.

The shooting happened about 25 minutes before a judge read the verdict convicting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Floyd. It also took place less than 5 miles from where the funeral for Andre Hill, who was killed by another Columbus police officer in December, was held earlier this year. The officer in Hill’s case, Adam Coy, a 19-year veteran of the force, is now facing trial for murder, with the next hearing scheduled for April 28.

Less than three weeks before Hill was killed, a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. in Columbus. The case remains under federal investigation.

Last week, Columbus police shot and killed a man who was in a hospital emergency room with a gun on him. Officials are continuing an investigation into that shooting.

Kimberly Shepherd, 50, who has lived in the neighborhood where Tuesday’s shooting took place for 17 years, said she knew the teenage victim.

“The neighborhood has definitely went through its changes, but nothing like this,” Shepherd said of the shooting. “This is the worst thing that has ever happened out here and unfortunately it is at the hands of police.”

Shepherd and her neighbor Jayme Jones, 51, had celebrated the guilty verdict of Chauvin. But things changed quickly, she said.

“We were happy about the verdict. But you couldn’t even enjoy that,” Shepherd said. “Because as you’re getting one phone call that he was guilty, I’m getting the next phone call that this is happening in my neighborhood.”



  1. Why did he have to shoot him! His didn’t never hurt nobody! He was just swinging the knife for shoulder exercise. The officer should have known that. He was a good little kid! Senseless killing! BLM – nobody else’s do!

  2. A man immediately yells at the officer, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!” What a stupid idiot this man is, and what misguided mercy:- No-doubt if this kid holding knife had been lunging towards him or his daughter, he would also be irked that police shot her, and would rather have this kid stab him or his own daughter to death rather than have police kill knife wielding kid.

  3. Why condolences to the family? The Torah says when Beis Din executes someone the family is not allowed to sit shiv’ah, and they are forced to visit the judges and the witnesses and ask how they are, to show publicly that they don’t have any resentment over the verdict. They’re allowed to be sad in their hearts, but they are not allowed to show it publicly; in public they must pretend to be OK with it.

    This thug and would-be murderess is dead; good riddance.

  4. THE TRUTH (because AP is as corrupt as the other Liberal media outlets): I saw the entire video and a second time in slow motion (what transpired happened in seconds so it’s hard to see what transpired in real time).

    Cops were called in because of a domestic fight breaking out. There were many people at a black resident. All were black (AP purposely left out that info). Right in front of the officer a man and a women attacked someone. That person fell to the ground. The girl then proceeded to chase after another girl with a knife, pinned her to a car, and tried twice to stab her. The second time she tried to stab her in the head. Trying to save the life of an unarmed black girl, the cop shot three times at the rasha who immediately feel to the ground. Thus, the cop saved the unarmed girl’s life. The cop’s actions was 100% correct!
    While the terrorist group BLM will riot over this, they obviously don’t care about the innocent girl who’s life was save!

  5. if the cop wouldnt have shot her, then the narrative would have been “if she was stabbing a white girl you would have shot her”–so he shoots her, and the narrative is “she was just a kid!”–a 6 foot, 200lb “kid” with a kitchen knife that was stabbing someone–some people simply have NO critical thinking ability.

  6. @Fake Yeshiva Bachur,
    I’m 100% maskim to you!
    Also, If every time the blacks are going to complain about a white cop shooting someone, the black cops should tell their people that there wrong.