Report identifies the police officer who killed 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant as an Air National Guard member whose father appears to have trained police recruits

·3 min read
makhia bryant memorial
A pop-up memorial at the site where a Columbus Police Department officer fatally shot Ma'Khia Bryant.Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images
  • The Columbus, Ohio, police officer who fatally shot a Black teen was identified as Nicholas Reardon.

  • He appears to be the son of a recently retired officer who trained the department's recruits.

  • Nicholas Reardon is also an active member of the Air National Guard.

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The Columbus, Ohio, police officer who fatally shot a Black teenage girl on Tuesday appears to be the son of a retired officer who used to train the department's recruits, The Daily Beast reported.

Nicholas Reardon was identified Wednesday as the officer who shot Ma'Khia Bryant, 16, after responding to a call about a fight. Bodycam footage showed Reardon shooting at Bryant four times as she lunged toward another girl while holding what appeared to be a knife.

Following the release of Reardon's name on Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that Reardon appeared to be the son of Sgt. Ted Reardon, a 32-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police. The department's public-information office did not answer Insider's calls Thursday and Friday for confirmation of the father-son relationship.

Ted Reardon retired from the force last year, according to a Facebook post from the department.

The post commended the elder Reardon for "training more than 700 recruits at the Columbus Police Academy" and said he would be remembered for "his get in your face training, his heart, his devotion, his passion, and his love of Hallmark movies."

The Facebook post also said one of Reardon's sons "is currently a Columbus Police recruit." It's likely the post was referring to Nicholas, since the May 2020 post would have been published a few months after Reardon was hired by the department in December 2019.

Nicholas Reardon is also a member of the Air National Guard, an Air National Guard representative confirmed to Insider in an email Friday.

The Daily Beast also uncovered old Twitter posts from Reardon's high-school wrestling team, which posted updates as Reardon went through Air National Guard training.

In one January 23, 2017, tweet, the Bishop Watterson High School wrestling team said Reardon had become an "expert marksman" on the M4A1 rifle. The Air National Guard representative, however, told Insider that official records did not include such a distinction.

Bryant's death has sparked protests in Columbus, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the inquiry. Reardon has been taken off street duty, according to Columbus' interim police chief, Michael Woods.

Bryant's aunt told The Columbus Dispatch that the girl had become involved in an altercation with someone at her foster residence.

"She was a good kid, she was loving," the aunt told said Tuesday, according to a video posted to Twitter. "She didn't deserve to die like a dog on the street."

Editor's note: This article was updated with information from the Air National Guard representative.

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