WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – A pregnant woman is dead after police fatally shot her at a Kroger in Blendon Township on Thursday evening.
The Franklin County Coroner’s Office confirmed Friday that 21-year-old Ta’kiya Young died after being shot by police at around 6:30 p.m. In a video statement Friday evening, Blendon Township Police Chief John Belford did not identify the officers involved but said they were placed on administrative leave “out of an abundance of caution.”
Belford said Kroger employees claimed Young was one of several people stealing alcohol from the store, although other suspects fled in vehicles. Young was parked in a spot in front of the Kroger in a Lexus sedan with no license plate. An officer approached the driver’s side and another officer approached the front of the car, telling Young to exit the vehicle “more than a dozen times,” which she did not do, Belford said.
Belford said Young then put the car in gear and drove forward, where an officer was “directly in the path of the oncoming car.” That officer then shot through the front windshield. The car stopped about 50 feet away, on the sidewalk outside the store.
Officers and a “passing ER doctor” rendered aid to Young, who later died at St. Ann’s Hospital, Belford said.
Belford claimed Young had “previously been charged with crimes involving theft and fleeing from police” but did not detail those charges.
“Every loss of life is a tragedy,” Belford said in the video statement. “The family of the woman who died is understandably upset.”
Blendon Township police did not release body camera footage, with Belford saying redactions must be made to comply with victims’ rights legislation called Marsy’s Law. Other Franklin County law enforcement agencies, including Columbus police, have similarly cited the law to withhold the names of officers.
A Franklin County Municipal Court judge had issued a warrant for Young’s arrest on Monday, records showed. She was facing a misdemeanor charge of violating a protection order or consent agreement.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation took over the scene of the shooting, focusing their efforts on a black car that had driven up against the building, underneath a sign advertising a prescription pick-up window.
Photos showed Westerville and Blendon Township police, as well as the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, having set up a perimeter at the Kroger, located at 5991 S. Sunbury Road.
The Kroger store is the same location where another fatal shooting took place in January, when Amara Jones, 24, was killed while sitting in her car in the parking lot. The suspect, 29-year-old Rodney Perry, was found six hours later in Concord, North Carolina.
Perry was charged with two counts of murder with firearm specifications and one count each of improper handling of a firearm and tampering with evidence. Perry pleaded not guilty on all counts and a trial is scheduled for September 27, barring any plea agreement.