A squabble over housekeeping lit the fuse that ended in a chaotic, violent confrontation outside of a Columbus, Ohio, foster home on Tuesday, according to the woman who operates the foster home.
The eruption of temper led to police being called with a report that someone was trying to stab someone else and ended with Ma’Khia Bryant being shot after attacking another girl while holding a knife.
Angela Moore told CNN that tensions erupted between Bryant and two former foster children who came to the house to celebrate Moore’s birthday.
Moore was not home at the time of the shooting but relayed what she was told by the teens who were there at the time.
“It was over keeping the house clean,” she said.
“The older one told them to clean up the house because ‘Mom doesn’t like the house dirty,'” Moore said. “So that’s how it all started.”
Moore said that one girl at the foster home told her Bryant bristled at being told what to do.
“You’re not the guardian of me,” the 16-year-old told one of the older girls, according to Moore.
“They argue all the time,” Moore said, “but I never thought it would escalate like that.”
She said she was called about the incident by the girl who is seen in bodycam footage wearing pink. The video showed Bryant swinging a knife as she approached the girl.
WARNING: The following video contains images that some viewers may find disturbing.
“Mom, get home. Where are you? They’re going crazy,” Moore said she was told. “She said they shot Ma’Khia and I said, ‘Huh?’ It was just crazy.”
She said she was told about Bryant’s death when she arrived at the home.
“I never in my worst nightmare would have thought it would ever come to this,” she said, according to CNN.
Moore painted a positive picture of Bryant.
“She was fun,” Moore said. “She liked to dance. She did chores around the house.”
No reason has been given as to why Bryant was placed in a foster home.
Moore said Bryant moved into the foster home in February and had expressed a wish to be reunited with her biological mother, according to The New York Times. Bryant, her sister and one other foster child were living in the home, Moore said.
Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina, said that although in theory other options than a gun might have been available to the officer who shot Bryant, the reality of the fast-moving incident seems to justify the officer’s actions.
“Were there other options? Not if she was about to stab that woman,” he said, noting that a Taser might not deploy in time and might not have been effective enough to stop Bryant.
“What if it didn’t work and she ended up killing this woman?” Alpert said.
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