On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that the Columbus, Ohio police officer who fatally shot 15-year-old Ma'khia Bryant appears to be a "military-trained marksman," as well as the son of the police department's basic training sergeant.
"Social-media posts and news reports indicate that the officer who fired at the Black teen, identified by authorities on Wednesday as Nicholas Reardon, is a U.S. Air Force National Guard Airman who received expert marksman training with an M4 Carbine," reported Pilar Melendez, Chris Bournea, and William Bredderman. "A graduate of Bishop Watterson Catholic school in Columbus, where he was a member of the wrestling team, his alma mater posted periodic updates on his progress through basic training."
"A Twitter account and associated Instagram belonging to Reardon are no longer available to view. However, several accounts tweeted at his handle on his birthday, which matches that of a Nicholas E. Reardon from the nearby suburb of Sunbury, who Franklin County court records show was charged with a traffic offense in 2015," continued the report. "Reardon appears to be the son of retired Sergeant Edward 'Ted' Reardon, a 32-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police. The elder Reardon, also an Air Force veteran, was honored at an Ohio State football game in 2019, where the announcer noted he was the basic training sergeant at the Columbus Police Academy."
Many details of the shooting, which occurred just 30 minutes before a Minneapolis jury handed down a murder conviction against the officer who killed George Floyd, are unclear.
The police department has released footage indicating Bryant was holding a knife and winding up to stab someone in a confrontation — which they say is a situation that training dictates can be stopped with deadly force if necessary.