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Murder of MaKayla Bryant as Case for Investigators


Crime is an inherent part of any society, and the role of law enforcement is to prevent it and effectively identify the perpetrators. The investigation process consists of several phases, including the preliminary and follow-up ones, which are required to uncover all aspects of crime. The investigation must always rely on clear guidelines since they can facilitate the work of professionals and make their actions more efficient. The murder of MaKayla Bryant in Tallahassee, FL, is a tragic event for the entire community, yet it also presents an interesting case for investigators.

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The Case Details

Before exploring the investigation process, it is important to provide details about the case involving MaKayla Bryant’s murder. MaKayla was a Bryant 22-year-old psychology student from FAMU, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2020. She also led FAMU’s cheerleading team during the 2019-20 school year and was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. MaKayla was shot on January 27, 2022, outside an apartment within the Providence Pointe apartment complex (5). MaKayla was shot in the car of her friend, who rushed to the hospital after the shooting, where the woman died during surgery from her injuries. The killing of MaKayla Bryant can be identified as first-degree felony murder, and the reporting procedure which can be used in the case is contacting the friend of MaKayla who drove her to the hospital.

Basic Guidelines for Preliminary Investigation

The preliminary investigation is an important part of the process of analyzing the crime and identifying the perpetrators. The first step in the investigation would be to form a hypothesis which, in the case of MaKayla’s killing, would be a homicide involving a firearm (1). The next step would be identifying the required information, which would be the identity of the murderer, the weapon used, the identity of the friend, and their account of the situation. The next step would be collecting and processing data which would require conducting an interview with the friend of MaKayla and asking them about the incident. Additionally, it would be important to study the crime scene to check the traces of the shooting such as a bullet casing, to determine which weapon was used. Moreover, it would also be crucial to collect video recordings from the cameras which were recording the area of the crime scene (4). After the analysis of the evidence, it would be important to analyze the collected data and assess the initial hypothesis.

Since during the preliminary investigation, new information would emerge, the hypothesis would be changed or corrected. For instance, the friend of MaKayla told investigators that they wanted to make an illegal drug deal with the murderer, who instead decided to rob them, which led to the shooting (2). Thus, the hypothesis would be completed since the investigators would have a complete account of the crime. Based on the hypothesis, the investigators now would be able to make arrests of both the friend of MaKayla and her killer. Moreover, MaKayla’s friend would also be charged with third-degree felony murder and possession of narcotics with intent to sell.

The Four Characteristics of Investigator

Investigators who demonstrate their effectiveness tend to have several key characteristics which ultimately shape their ability to solve criminal cases. The first quality which an investigator should have is professionalism which implies strictly adhering to the investigation procedures and being able to recognize one’s errors and correct them. The second important characteristic is the ability to be self-driven and motivated. In order words, investigators must be committed to discovering the truth and forming new hypotheses until they identify the actual information about the case. The third characteristic is problem-solving, which involves being capable of finding effective and unconventional ways to overcome challenges. Finally, investigators must possess the courage to confront threats and risks which are inherent to their work. Considering the fact that the arrest of the murderer in the case of MaKayla Bryant was made four days after the incident, the investigator working on the case was extremely effective. At the same time, the investigator could improve their effectiveness if they seized the phone of MaKayla’s friend to check the recent calls, among which the murderer could potentially be found.

Follow-Up Investigation

The follow-up investigation is another procedure employed by investigators, and data mining is one of the main techniques used here. In the case of MaKayla Bryant’s murder, the investigators could conduct an efficient follow-up investigation by seizing the hard drives of MaKayla’s friend, who was a drug dealer. The data mining would help the investigators to receive information about other instances of the person selling illicit drugs to people (3). At the same time, when conducting investigations, professionals should maintain the rights of both the victim and the accused. Investigators can do it by adhering strictly to the Title 18 of the United States Code and the Constitution.


The analysis of the murder of MaKayla Bryant demonstrates that the investigator working on the case had the highest level of expertise. Specifically, the investigator showed their professionalism by quickly identifying the preparator and arresting them on the fourth day after the incident. The investigator correctly adhered to all of the preliminary investigation steps, yet they could also improve their performance by applying data mining to MaKayla friend’s hard drive.

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Source List

Carol A. Archbold, 2021, Policing: The Essentials, SAGE Publications.

Christopher Cann, 2022, Tpd: Woman Arrested In Makayla Bryant Homicide Case; Other Suspects May Be ‘Arrested Soon’.

Chung-Hao Chen, 2021, Technologies to Advance Automation in Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation, IGI Global.

Glenn Grana, 2021, Crime and Intelligence Analysis: An Integrated Real-Time Approach, Routledge.

Lynsey Kirk, 2022, Two Arrests Made in Connection to Bryant Murder.

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