Tag Archives: killing

Columbus Shooting: Video Sheds Light on Killing of Ohio Teen

Author Kevin Williams, Jack Healy and Will Wright
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was Valentine’s Day when Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, moved into the foster home where her younger sister had lived for more than a year. The girls were close, and would dance and make TikTok videos together, while Ms. Bryant nurtured a constant hope: to one day live again with her biological mother.

“That’s all she said, was, ‘I want to be with my mom,’” said Angela Moore, who said she provided foster care for Ms. Bryant and her sister on a quiet block on the southeastern edge of Columbus, Ohio.

Those dreams were cut short after a Columbus police officer fatally shot Ms. Bryant on Tuesday afternoon, just moments after arriving at a chaotic disturbance outside her foster home. Body-camera footage released by the Columbus police appears to show Ms. Bryant holding a knife as she lunges toward another person a moment before she is shot.

Her death fanned new waves of sorrow, anger and protest on Wednesday, its timing — just minutes before a jury in Minneapolis convicted Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd — a grim reminder of an unceasing tally of killings by the police.

As the White House on Wednesday described Ms. Bryant’s death as “tragic,” law enforcement authorities in Columbus pleaded for patience from the community as they released 911 calls and new body-camera videos showing the frenzied moments surrounding her shooting.

Michael Woods, the interim chief of the Columbus Division of Police, identified the officer who shot Ms. Bryant as Nicholas Reardon, and said he had been on the force since December 2019.

“Under any circumstance, that is a horrendous tragedy,” Ned Pettus Jr., the city’s public safety director, said during a news conference on Wednesday. “But the video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause, take a close look at the sequence of events, and though it’s not easy, wait for the facts as is determined by an independent investigation.”

Mr. Pettus said a third-party investigation being conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation would need to answer key questions, including what information Officer Reardon had, what he saw at the scene, and what would have happened if he “had taken no action at all.”

The first 911 call that brought the police to the house came at 4:32 p.m. on Tuesday. It is a cacophony of screaming. The caller, who sounds like a younger woman, says that someone was “trying to stab us” and had “put hands” on the caller’s grandmother. The dispatcher asks again and again whether the caller has seen any weapons.

“We need a police officer here now,” the caller responds. That person’s identity was unclear on Wednesday.

A second 911 call came in minutes later, but the caller hung up because the police had already arrived.

Unlike the agonizingly slow video showing Mr. Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, in which he calls out that he cannot breathe as Mr. Chauvin kneels on his neck, footage released by the Columbus police shows that Ms. Bryant’s killing unfolded in seconds.

Officers were dispatched to the home on Legion Lane at 4:35 p.m. on Tuesday and arrived at 4:44, according to the Columbus police.

As Officer Reardon got out of his vehicle, he encountered seven people outside a two-story brick home and asked, “What’s going on?” Yelling could be heard in the background.

An unidentified girl appeared to fall to the grass after being attacked by Ms. Bryant and then kicked by an unidentified man. The video footage then showed Ms. Bryant, who was holding a knife, appearing to lunge toward a person dressed in pink who was pinned against a car parked in the driveway.

“Hey! Hey!” Officer Reardon said as he pulled his gun. “Get down! Get down!”

He fired four quick shots, and Ms. Bryant dropped to the ground at the edge of the driveway.

A witness yelled, “Why did you shoot her?”

The officer responded, “She came at her with a knife,” apparently referring to Ms. Bryant and the person dressed in pink.

Chief Woods said Columbus officers were allowed to use deadly force to protect somebody who was in danger of being killed by another person. A Taser, he said, is generally reserved for situations where there is no immediate threat of death. Officers are not required to call out that they are about to fire their weapon, he added, though they try to if there is time.

“It’s a tragedy,” Chief Woods said. “There’s no other way to say it. It’s a 16-year-old girl.”

Two experts who reviewed the body camera footage said that in this case, the officer’s use of force appeared at first glance to be justified.

Geoffrey P. Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina, said investigators would look at whether the officer believed that there was an imminent threat to the life of the other woman.

If there was an immediate threat, investigators will look at whether the officer could have resorted to other methods of control, he said. Dr. Alpert said that based on his own review, Ms. Bryant did appear to pose a threat to the life of the other woman.

“Were there other options? Not if she was about to stab that woman,” Dr. Alpert said, adding that a Taser could take too long to deploy, and that the less-than-lethal weapons are not 100 percent reliable. “He’s protecting her life, not his own,” he said. “What if it didn’t work and she ended up killing this woman?”

Still, Ms. Bryant’s family and activists across Columbus questioned why the officer shot Ms. Bryant.

“I don’t know why he shot her,” Ms. Moore, Ms. Bryant’s foster parent, said. “I don’t know why he didn’t Tase her, why they didn’t try to break it up.”

She added, “At the end of the day, it wasn’t worth all this.”

Tensions over police shootings of Black people were already raw around Columbus. In early December, Casey Goodson Jr., 23, was shot to death at the entrance of his home by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy who had been searching for someone else. Two weeks later, Andre Hill was shot by a Columbus police officer who was later charged with felony murder.

Ms. Moore said that she was at work during the shooting, but that she believed the fight began over an argument about housekeeping. She said one of her former foster children had visited the home on Tuesday and criticized Ms. Bryant and her sister for having messy bedrooms.

“That’s where the problem came,” Ms. Moore said. “I didn’t know they had called the police.”

Ms. Moore said that Ms. Bryant had moved into her home on Feb. 14, and that she was one of three foster children living there, including her sister.

Ms. Bryant’s family expressed dismay and outrage at her death, and described Ms. Bryant as sweet and caring. They said she should still be alive.

“This could have been de-escalated by the Columbus Police Department,” Don Bryant, a cousin of Ms. Bryant’s mother, said. “There are things you can do to avoid pulling out your gun and shooting someone. I question the use of force.”

Mr. Bryant said he did not know how Ma’Khia Bryant had ended up in foster care. But he said that her mother, Paula Bryant, who works as a nursing assistant in Columbus, had been working toward a reunion.

“Paula was working extremely hard to get Ma’Khia back into her home, working to do everything right,” Mr. Bryant said.

Ms. Bryant had been enrolled at Independence High School in Columbus in February. Jacqueline Bryant, a spokeswoman for Columbus City Schools who is not related, said her teachers reported that in the short time Ms. Bryant was there, she was “very respectful, attended school each day, and was eager to learn.”

On Legion Lane, where a memorial of flowers and stuffed animals was growing on Wednesday, neighbors were still stunned. Chris Mitchell, 31, who was visiting from another city, was playing with his two children in a nearby backyard when he heard “very loud arguing” followed by gunshots about two minutes later.

“I came out and saw a young lady on the ground,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Israel Reales, 19, said his mother, Nahomi, was unloading groceries from her car when she heard gunshots. She went outside and saw people with their hands up. She relayed the story through her son, who interpreted.

“The police need a lot more training,” Mr. Reales said. “The way it was handled wasn’t proper.”

Activists who spent Tuesday demonstrating at the scene of the shooting marched on late Wednesday afternoon toward Police Headquarters, and said they planned to demand answers and accountability.

“They didn’t de-escalate the situation,” said DeJuan Sharp, an organizer with a local Black Lives Matter group called the Downtownerz. “I don’t know why the gun was the first thing for him to use.”

Lucia Walinchus contributed reporting from Columbus.

Austin shooting suspect arrested, wanted for killing 3 people

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Authorities have arrested the former law officer wanted in the shooting that left three people dead and launched a massive manhunt.

Stephen Nicholas Broderick, 41, was arrested Monday morning at 7:05 a.m. without incident approximately 20 hours after the shooting, Manor Police and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. Manor Police said Broderick had a loaded pistol in his waistband at the time of his arrest, but no shots were fired.

Stephen Broderick arrest
Dashcam video of Stephen Broderick with his hands up before he was arrested around 7 a.m. on Monday. (Courtesy Manor Police Department)

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has charged Broderick with capital murder.

Broderick was found between Manor and Elgin walking down Old Kimbro Road just south of Highway 290 after at least two 911 calls reporting a suspicious person matching Broderick’s description. Manor Police say officers immediately responded and conducted a high-risk stop. The department released video of Broderick wearing a black shirt and jeans on the side of the road with his hands up.

After his arrest, officers took Broderick to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office Central Booking facility in downtown Austin.

“I’m especially grateful to the vigilant citizen who called 911 after seeing Broderick, and to the Manor PD officers and TCSO deputies who took him into custody this morning,” Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said in a statement.

Broderick arrested 18 miles east of shooting scene

That shooting took place just before noon Sunday at the Arboretum Oaks Apartments in northwest Austin. It was initially reported as an active shooter situation, but police later said it was an isolated domestic crime. Three people were found dead at the scene.

Elgin ISD confirmed that two of those killed had been students at Elgin High School — Willie Simmons III and Alyssa Broderick. Broderick’s mother was believed to have been the third victim.

According to the Texas Rangers and Travis County court records, Stephen Broderick is a former Travis County Sheriff’s detective and was charged with sexual assault of a child in June 2020.

He bonded out of jail days after his arrest and resigned from the sheriff’s office, according to a spokeswoman.

Stephen Broderick
Stephen Broderick (U.S. Marshals Photo)

“I’m truly heartbroken that a former Travis County Sheriff’s Office Deputy is the suspect in such a horrific incident,” Sheriff Hernandez added. “TCSO is standing by to provide any, and all assistance we can to the families of the victims in their time of need.

“I am grateful to the courageous members of our law enforcement who worked around the clock to bring Mr. Broderick into custody without incident,” Travis County District Attorney José Garza said in a statement, adding that his office will request that Broderick be held without bail. Garza also referenced Broderick’s prior release on bail.

“Because Mr. Broderick committed this heinous crime after he paid a money bond to be released on charges related to sexual assault against a child, Texas law permits his detention without bail.”

Broderick was also previously an investigator with the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office.

Wes Wilson

This article originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Phillip Adams: 5 Things To Know About Former NFL Player Who Murdered 5 People Before Killing Himself

Phillip Adams, a retired NFL player, is suspected of fatally shooting five people (including two children) before dying by suicide. ‘Nothing’ makes ‘sense’ to both authorities and friends.

Retired NFL player Phillip Adams is suspected of fatally shooting five people — one of them being the well-known Dr. Robert Lesslie — according to his father, Alonzo Adams, and local authorities. The shooting took place inside Lesslie’s home in York County, South Carolina on April 7; Lesslie’s wife Barbara, 69, their grandchildren Adah, 9, and Noah, 5, and someone named James Lewis, 38 (who was working inside the home) also died amid the shooting. A sixth person — Robert Shook, 38 — survived the shooting[1] and is now “fighting hard for his life,” the victim’s cousin reported, per ESPN. After the tragedy, Adams fled to the home of his parents — who were evacuated — where he eventually died by suicide from a self-inflected gun wound in the early morning of Thursday, April 8, according the outlet.

Phillip Adams
Phillip Adams, who played for five famous NFL teams between 2010-2015, is pictured above. [Shutterstock]

“There’s nothing right now that makes sense to any of us,” York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said at a news conference on April 8, per ESPN. Investigators are still looking for a motive in this mass shooting[2]. Adams’ relationship to the Lesslie family is also not known at the time; the sheriff clarified that there was no “doctor-patient relationship” between Adams and Dr. Lesslie, a longtime emergency room doctor and the founder of Riverview Hospice and Palliative Care. Adams’ father, however, suggested what may have led up to this horrific point; you can find out what that is, and learn more about the former professional football player who took his own life, below.

Phillip Adams’ Father Believes Football ‘Messed’ Up His Son

“I can say he’s a good kid,” Adams’ father, Alonzo Adams, told a WCNC[3] reporter after the shooting. He added, “I think the football messed him up…We pray for the family. I know they were good folks.” While officials didn’t report about any known medical conditions, the younger Adams did reportedly suffer two concussions amid his earlier days in professional football, according to WCNC. However, he wasn’t eligible for testing because “of a broad settlement between the league and its former players over such injuries” since Adams didn’t retire by 2014, according to ESPN.

However, Adams’ agent Scott Casterline said that the football player “had an injury’ in his rookie year of professional football. “Some teams wrote him off and he had that stigma of a guy who was hurt. It was hard for him to walk away from the game, especially a guy as dedicated as he was,” the sports agent told AP News[4]. “We encouraged him to explore all of his disability options and he wouldn’t do it. I knew he was hurting and missing football but he wouldn’t take health tips offered to him. He said he would but he wouldn’t. I felt he was lost without football, somewhat depressed.”

Phillip Adams Played For Multiple NFL Teams

Phillip was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. He then went on to play[5] for the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons (in that order). Adams played his last NFL game with the Falcons in 2015, but he did train with the Kansas City Chiefs amid a visit in April of 2016. He played in 78 NFL games total. Before going pro, he played football for South Carolina State.

After Football, Phillip Adams Went On To Open A Food Business

Right before the COVID-19 pandemic[6] began in 2020, the retired football player opened a shop that sold smoothies and juices.

Phillip Adams’ Football Family Is Bewildered Over The Shooting

A photo of Robert Lesslie, who was also the author of Angels in the ER, among other books. [Facebook]

“He was part of my family. I loved him. He’s a great kid, a great guy. This is so unlike him. He had to not be in his right mind, obviously,” Adams’ agent Scott Casterline told AP News. The agent later added, “Seeing Philip shoot two kids, it’s not him. I can’t fathom it. It’s devastating for the victims and the families.”

Kevin Smith, who was a cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys and trained Adams both before he entered the 2010 draft and after, was just as shocked. “He didn’t drink not one bit of alcohol. He was a bit of a neat freak. In his house, everything was precisely placed,” the former NFL player told AP News as well.

Phillip Adams Was A ‘Good Father,’ His Agent Said

Phillip Adams was staying in South Carolina because he had a son, according to his agent. “All of us who knew Philip are shaking our heads. He struggled away from the game. I tried to get him to come to Texas. I was going to find him a job, but he wouldn’t leave South Carolina because he had a son. He was a good father,” Scott told AP News.


  1. ^ the shooting (hollywoodlife.com)
  2. ^ mass shooting (hollywoodlife.com)
  3. ^ WCNC (www.wcnc.com)
  4. ^ AP News (apnews.com)
  5. ^ play (www.nbcsports.com)
  6. ^ COVID-19 pandemic (hollywoodlife.com)

Jade Boren

Williamson County Sherriff's Office investigating death of man charged with killing police officer

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Detectives with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death of a man who was recently released from custody while on life support.

WCSO says Raul Ramos Martinez[1], who was arrested and incarcerated in February 2018, died at a local hospital on Friday, after being on life support for underlying medical issues since March 16.

Martinez reportedly visited the hospital due to underlying medical issues on several occasions during his incarceration. After his March placement on life support, WCSO says the Martinez family petitioned the county to release him from custody so medical care could be decided.

The request was granted on Friday. Martinez died shortly after.

Martinez was arrested back on February 25, 2018, in relation to the death of Round Rock Police Officer Charles Whites[2]. Whites, a veteran officer, was working a traffic crash when he was hit by the vehicle Martinez was driving.

Martinez was charged with felony intoxication assault/manslaughter with a vehicle. Round Rock Police said he was on prescription medication on the morning of the crash.

WCSO, in cooperation with other local departments, says it’s investigating the matter out of an abundance of caution due to his extended time in Williamson County custody. The county has also requested the Texas Rangers perform an independent investigation.

Russell Falcon

Montana Governor Gets Written Warning After Killing a Wolf

Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana violated a state hunting requirement last month when he trapped and killed a wolf near Yellowstone National Park without first taking a mandated trapper education course, state officials said on Tuesday.

Mr. Gianforte, who has a license to hunt wolves, received a written warning for the violation, according to Greg Lemon, a spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “We’ve treated this as we would anybody” in a similar situation, he said. “It’s important to us the integrity of our process, no matter who we’re dealing with, is maintained.”

Mr. Gianforte trapped and shot an adult black wolf on Feb. 15 near Yellowstone National Park, Boise State Public Radio reported[1] on Tuesday. Morgan Warthin, spokeswoman for Yellowstone National Park, said the wolf, No. 1155, was born in the park, was estimated to be 6 or 7 years old and had been collared by park biologists in 2018.

“Once the wolf left the park, it no longer was considered a Yellowstone wolf,” she said.

Montana regulations require that wolf traps be checked at least once every 48 hours, that wolves harvested be reported within 24 hours and that the skull and hides be inspected within 10 days of being killed, Mr. Lemon said. Referring to the governor, Mr. Lemon said, “Everything had been done the way it was supposed to,” except for completing the wolf-trapper certification class.

Telephone messages left with Mr. Gianforte’s staff on Tuesday were not immediately returned. Brooke Stroyke, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gianforte, told The Associated Press[2] that the governor had “immediately rectified the mistake.” Mr. Gianforte signed up for the first available course, scheduled for Wednesday, Mr. Lemon said.

Ms. Stroyke told The A.P. that this was the first wolf the governor had killed.

The one-time certification class, which lasts about three hours, teaches trappers about wolf biology, best practices for trapping and related regulations, Mr. Lemon said. “The class is geared toward the ethical harvest of wolves.”

The episode came as Mr. Gianforte is expected to receive, and support, several bills aimed at loosening wolf hunting and trapping regulations, including allowing the use of neck snares and offsetting certain costs for trappers.

Critics have urged Mr. Gianforte not to loosen the state’s wolf hunting and trapping regulations.

“The use of neck snares for wolves is particularly cruel,” Kitty Block[3], president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, wrote on her blog[4] last month. “Wolves have extremely well-muscled necks and suffer greatly when trapped in these devices.”

On Tuesday, referring to the governor’s wolf trapping episode, Ms. Block wrote[5], “Gov. Greg Gianforte should have known better.”

Mr. Gianforte, a Republican former congressman, was elected governor in November, with the support of the Montana Trappers Association.

“Trapping is part of our Montana way of life,” Mr. Gianforte said at the time, News Talk KGVO reported[6]. “Make no mistake, the effort to stop trapping in Montana is an attack on our heritage,” he said.

This was not Mr. Gianforte’s first brush with hunting regulators. In 2000, Mr. Gianforte illegally killed an elk and was issued a $ 70 ticket by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Mr. Lemon said.

In June 2017, Mr. Gianforte was sentenced[7] to 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management classes for assaulting a reporter the night before he won a seat in the House of Representatives.


  1. ^ Boise State Public Radio reported (www.boisestatepublicradio.org)
  2. ^ The Associated Press (www.baynews9.com)
  3. ^ Kitty Block (blog.humanesociety.org)
  4. ^ wrote on her blog (blog.humanesociety.org)
  5. ^ Ms. Block wrote (blog.humanesociety.org)
  6. ^ News Talk KGVO reported (newstalkkgvo.com)
  7. ^ sentenced (www.nytimes.com)

Azi Paybarah

Is Facebook’s ‘unregulated’ monopoly simply killing all competitors? Boom Bust digs in

Mollye Barrows of America’s Lawyer gives her insight into the fight over tech regulation as Facebook vows to combat proposed measures from the US government.

There’s some need for updating regulatory language and regulatory laws, she tells Boom Bust. The two recent lawsuits “basically make similar claims that Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp in order to squash what they thought was competition that could pose a threat to the company.”

She points out that the US attorney general accused Facebook of using their market dominance to stifle competition, while the Federal Trade Commission wanted the firm to unload Instagram and WhatsApp and become separate companies again.“So, in response to those claims Facebook’s basically alleging that those two apps weren’t exactly real competitors, they were ‘potential’ competitors rather than an actual threat,” Barrows says, adding: “So, they are basically trying to say ‘Hey, we sort of fall through the cracks, we’re kind of unregulated’ which you’ve heard from other big tech companies before.”

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