Reporter ripped after asking Columbus police chief why officer didn't shoot Ma'Khia Bryant in arm or leg

Michael Woods explains extremity is too small a target to aim at in deadly situation

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Social media erupted in scorn Wednesday after a reporter asked Columbus, Ohio, Police Chief Michael Woods whether a responding officer could have shot 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant in the arm or leg.

Bryant was pronounced dead Tuesday night after she was shot by police while attacking two females with a knife.

Columbus police released footage from the body camera of the officer who shot Bryant Tuesday night. Footage from the other officers on the scene was released at a second briefing Wednesday afternoon. 

"Can an officer shoot the leg, can they shoot somewhere that would not result in a fatal wound?" asked an unidentified reporter at one point, after noting that observers have asked the same question.

"One of the difficult things with that is ... we don't train to shoot the leg because that's a small target," Woods explained. "We train to shoot center mass, what is available to stop that threa ... There was a deadly force threat that was going on, so the officer is trained to shoot center mass."

"When you try to start shooting arms or legs, rounds miss, and then they continue on, and there are people behind that could be in danger, that are not committing anything ... So we try and minimize any danger to anyone else if we have to use our firearm," the police chief continued.

Twitter users ripped the reporter for broaching the question.

"The ignorance is astounding," reacted Townhall editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich.


Washington Times Pentagon reporter Mike Glenn explained that aiming for a limb is "damn near impossible" for police who are responding to 911 calls.

"I give the Chief credit for not laughing in this reporter's face," agreed user William J. Smith.


The media made several missteps in their coverage of the Columbus shooting, sharing misleading narratives or omitting key facts about the incident.

The left-leaning Daily Beast, for instance, suggested that Bryant was unarmed and a knife was found lying "on the ground" upon the officers' arrival. The outlet was one of several to have to edit their misleading reports that appeared intended to paint police as racist.