In a tragic turn of events, a pregnant woman was fatally shot by police officers in a supermarket parking lot in Blendon, a Columbus suburb in Ohio. The woman, identified as 21-year-old Ta'Kiya Young, had allegedly stolen multiple bottles of alcohol from the store and was attempting to flee the scene. The incident occurred on Thursday evening.
According to Blendon Police Chief John Belford, officers were initially at the supermarket on an unrelated matter when an employee informed them about multiple individuals running away from the store with stolen items. Among them was Young, who had taken the bottles of alcohol. One officer approached Young's vehicle from the driver's side and instructed her to stop, while another officer positioned themselves in front of the car.
Despite the repeated orders to stop, Young accelerated her vehicle towards the officer positioned in front of her. In response, the officer fired a single shot through the front windshield. Young's car continued for about 50 feet before coming to a halt on the sidewalk outside the store. Tragically, Young and her unborn daughter did not survive the shooting. Young's family informed The Columbus Dispatch that she was due to give birth in November and already had two sons, aged 6 and 3.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has taken charge of the case, leading the inquiry into the fatal shooting. The names and further details about the officers involved have not been disclosed, and they have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing - a standard procedure in such incidents, according to Chief Belford. The shooting was captured on police body camera footage, but it remains unclear when it will be released to the public.
The Young family has expressed their deep concern and confusion surrounding the shooting. Nadine Young, Ta'Kiya's grandmother, questioned why lethal force was deemed necessary, stating that her granddaughter would have eventually exited the car. She also expressed her distress at the loss of both Ta'Kiya and her unborn grandchild.
Blendon Township Police Chief Belford also released a video statement expressing his condolences and describing the incident as a “tragedy” and an "unfortunate loss of life." He did not reveal the woman's pregnancy in his statement; however, the Franklin County Coroner's Office confirmed that Ta'Kiya Young was pregnant at the time of her death.
Chief Belford provided a detailed account of the events leading up to the shooting. He explained that officers had been assisting a driver who was locked out of her car outside the Kroger supermarket when a store employee informed them about the theft and subsequent escape of several individuals. One woman, believed to be Young, was sitting in a vehicle parked near the store. When officers approached her, she started the car and ignored their orders to exit the vehicle. Despite numerous commands, she refused to comply.
Faced with the woman's non-compliance, the officer on the driver's side moved away from the vehicle while another officer positioned themselves in front of it. Young then accelerated the car towards the officer in front, prompting the officer to discharge their weapon. The car continued to move for approximately 50 feet before coming to a stop on the store's sidewalk.
Following the shooting, officers immediately attempted to reach Young, but the car door was locked. They had to break the driver's-side window to provide her with medical assistance and called for emergency medical personnel. However, Young was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to a nearby hospital.
The two officers involved in the shooting have not been publicly identified and remain on administrative leave pending the investigation's outcome. The Ohio Attorney General's Office, which oversees the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, confirmed that an independent inquiry is underway. Chief Belford assured the public that accountability measures would be taken once the investigations were complete. The release of the body camera footage will occur as soon as necessary legal redactions have been made, according to the Chief.
themes: Shooting Ohio