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Prosecutor says witnesses saw Sinzae Reed shoot at Krieg Butler first

Sinzae Reed
Provided photo
Sinzae Reed

Multiple witnesses told police that 13-year-old Sinzae Reed fired a weapon first before Krieg Butler fired back twice, killing Reed.

Franklin County Assistant Prosecutor David Zeyen told WOSU that during Butler's arraignment Wednesday, witnesses told police Reed came around the corner at the Wedgewood Apartments in October and fired shots at Butler inside his truck. One witness says that after Butler returned fire, killing Reed, an object slid out from under Reed and someone picked it up.

Zeyen said police still don't have the weapon Reed was reported to have used.

A grand jury last week decided not to indict Butler on murder charges or any charges related directly to Reed's death. Butler argued he shot in self defense.

Butler, 37, faces two felony charges for tampering with evidence and improperly handling a firearm. He appeared in court via video from the Franklin County Jail after being arrested Sunday.

Reed's family has called for Butler to be arrested and charged with murder. His mother, Megan Reed, rejected claims in January that Butler could have shot her son in self-defense. At the time of the interview with WOSU, she also criticized the prosecutor's office for their handling of the case and complained about their lack of communication with her.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.