Bryant and her younger sister resided in foster care at the home of Angela Moore. On April 20, 2021, There was a dispute between Ma’Khia’s sister and former residents in the foster home. The older, former residents, Tionna Bonner and Shai-Onta Lana Craig-Watkins were threatening those in the house with a knife. In an attempt to protect her house and her family Ma’Khia exited the house with a steak knife.Bryant's sister called 911 at 4:32 p.m., saying "We got Angie's grown girls trying to fight us, trying to stab us, trying to put her hands on our grandma. Get here now!" Around 4:45 pm EDT, officers from the Columbus Division of Police responded to a 911 call reporting an attempted stabbing at the foster home.
As Officer Reardon arrived at the home, surveillance footage from multiple angles showed several people in the driveway, including Bryant, who had emerged from behind the house. Reardon can be heard saying, "Hey. What's going on?" Bryant then pushed Craig-Watkins in front of Reardon and fell over her. Reardon drew his service pistol and shouted "Hey!" four times.
Brandishing a knife, Bryant then lunged toward Bonner, and pinned her to a car. Reardon yelled at Bryant "Get down!" multiple times. As Bryant reached back with the knife, Reardon fired four shots, striking Bryant, who collapsed on the driveway.
Bryant was transported to Mount Carmel East, where she was pronounced dead at 5:21 pm EDT.