The sister of a 19-year-old woman who was fatally shot by a cop during a Juneteenth parade says she doesn't blame the officer and said her sister was struggling after her boyfriend was killed three days ago.
Police said Briana Sykes, 19, of Flint, Michigan, shot at an officer while he was directing traffic. The cop returned fire and and killed the teenager.
Sykes' sister, Nala MacCracklin, 19, told DailyMail.com that Briana's boyfriend was killed in a shooting that didn't involve police just three days earlier and doesn't blame the officer.
‘I do feel horrible for the officer who did it and I’m not upset at him or anyone else. As well as the bystanders. Nobody deserves to see or experience that.’
‘I want to make sure people who are going through tough times know that therapy and counseling is okay.’
Cell phone video of the confrontation posted online shows the officer slumping to the floor after the shooting and appearing to cry as he is attended to by colleagues.
It's not clear what led up to the incident between Briana and the officer, but MacCracklin said Sykes 'wasn’t a bad person, nor violent.'
Scroll down for video
Police say Briana Sykes, 19 (pictured), of Flint, fired first shots at an officer who was controlling traffic on Saturday, before he returned fire and fatally wounded her.
Briana is pictured with her boyfriend (left), who was killed in a non-officer shooting days earlier
A 19-year-old woman is dead after she allegedly fired at a cop in Flint, Michigan on Saturday
Cell phone video of the confrontation posted online shows the officer slumping to the floor after the shooting and appearing to cry as he is attended to by colleagues
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
Witnesses told FOX 2 Detroit that the officer had no choice but to open fire after Sykes drove up and shot at him.
The incident took place around 2:14pm on Saturday, when the unidentified officer was working traffic during the city's Juneteenth Celebration Parade.
The shooting took place during the Champions Parade, honoring community leaders and athletic greats from the city, MLive reports.
The Flint officer was 'fired upon by the lone occupant of a vehicle who drove up to him at the traffic point,' state police said on Twitter. 'Upon taking fire, the officer returned fire, striking the suspect.'
Video of the incident shot by a witness from a nearby car shows the officer engaged in a conversation with the woman.
It's not clear what led up to the initial exchange between the officer and Briana.
The video shows the officer demanding to see the suspect's hands.
Several gunshots can then be heard and the cop can then be seen firing several shots into the car, which begins to roll away as the witness claims a gunshot hit her own door.
Nala McCracklin, 19, (left) is pictured with sister Briana Sykes, 19, who was killed during a shooting with the police in Flint, Michigan on Saturday near a Juneteenth parade (right)
The officer returned fire, striking the teen, who died as a result of her injuries
The officer, meanwhile, can be seen on his knees, seemingly weeping as another officer comes to comfort him.
Briana was transported to the Hurley Medical Center for treatment after the shooting, where she eventually succumbed to her injuries.
No one else was injured Saturday, including the police officer involved in the exchange.
Briana was set to become a student in the fall, Nala stated.
Nala described Briana as 'a great friend, sister, daughter, cousin, and aunt and a wonderful girlfriend.'
It wasn't known yet why Briana shot at the officer, Lt. Kim Vetter of the state police said Monday.
Vetter told the Detroit Free Press that the officer has been placed on paid leave following the incident. They were not wearing a body camera and it's unclear if nearby police cars caught the incident on their dashcam.
Video shows the officer approaching Briana while giving verbal commands to her
The officer, who has been placed on paid leave, needed to be comforted after the shooting
'Evidence indicates she did shoot first,' Vetter said of the suspect. 'The bystander videos, we do have them and we are using them as part of our investigation.
'And there are other surveillance videos in the area ... that’s typical investigative protocol that they would be checking any other video that was available at that incident.'
Michigan State Police will investigate the incident, as it involved a Flint Police Department officer.
The parade had not yet reached the site of the shooting and was rerouted to avoid the area.
The Michigan State Police say that the officer and bystanders were not injured in the shooting
The Flint Police Department asked the Michigan State Police to conduct the investigation
A witness told FOX 2 Detroit that the officer was doing his job and protecting the people in the parade.
'I feel like the police was doing his job he had a life to protect,' the witness said. 'Not only his, but we had a parade full of kids.'
'I kind of feel like him dropping, it was the devastation of the whole situation,' the witness added.
The female witness continued, 'I've been here all my life. I'm not going to say I'm used to it. You just try and stay safe. You can be anywhere literally, so you can just be safe wherever you are at.'
Briana was transported to the Hurley Medical Center for treatment after the shooting, where she eventually succumbed to her injuries
Flint resident Keith Lewis said the shooting was shocking on a day that commemorates the end of slavery.
'I was going to come down and get my lawn chair and sit down and really enjoy it. ... Oh, my goodness. All I can do is just pray,' Lewis told WNEM-TV.
Lewis added, 'I hope that eventually one day we'll all get it together and be able to have a nice celebration. I just send my thoughts out to Flint.'
WJRT reports the Michigan State Police is leading the investigation into the shooting, at the behest of the Flint Police Department.
After the investigation is complete, the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office will determine if charges will be filed in the shooting.