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Angela Moore told CNN on Thursday that two of her former foster children, both teenagers, came to her house in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday to celebrate her birthday, arriving while she was still at work.
Ms Moore said that the two former foster children told her that after the two teenagers arrived, Ma’Khia started squabbling with them about housework, including an unmade bed.
“It was over keeping the house clean. The older one told them to clean up the house because ‘Mom doesn’t like the house dirty,’” Ms Moore told CNN she was informed by one of her former foster children, adding: “So that’s how it all started.”
Ma’Khia moved into the house a few months before the incident, and Ms Moore said that the girls argued all the time, but added: “I never thought it would escalate like that.”
The fatal shooting of Ma’Khia by officer Nicholas Reardon took place at 4:45pm on Tuesday when officers were called to a disturbance on the southeast side of the city after reports of an attempted stabbing.
Bodycam footage from the responding officers showed the teenager brandishing a knife and charging towards one female who falls backwards, before moving towards another.
A slow-motion version of the footage showed the second victim falling against a car as the knife-wielding youth raises the weapon as if about to stab her, as officer Reardon opens fire on the teenager. Mr Reardon has been placed on paid leave pending an investigation.
The shooting occurred around 20 minutes before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of George Floyd’s murder, a high-profile killing last May that saw sustained protests across the US in opposition to police brutality against Black Americans.
Ms Moore revealed that following the shooting, she received a frantic phone call from one of her two former foster children, saying: “‘Mom, get home! Where are you? They’re going crazy.’ She said they shot Ma’Kiah and I said, ‘Huh?’ It was just crazy.”
Protesters gathered in downtown Columbus over the last few nights to protest the police shooting of the teenage girl.
A crowd on Tuesday night chanted “Bryant” as they approached officers outside of the building, while a group of protesters were heard shouting: “She was just a kid,” according to the New York Post.
At a separate demonstration earlier in the day, members of Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children and other protesters gathered in the area of the shooting, with one person reportedly carrying a sign that read “enough is enough”.