A six-hour standoff with police in Baltimore ended with the death of a young black woman on Monday. Who was Korryn Gaines? The 23-year-old was shot and killed during the confrontation, and her five-year-old son sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot. The Baltimore County Police Department said in a statement that officers negotiated with Gaines until she allegedly pointed a gun at one of them, threatened to shoot him, and then fired two rounds.
According to Baltimore Police Chief Jim Johnson, officers from the warrant squad and one uniformed officer reportedly arrived at Gaines' home at around 9:20 a.m. local time to arrest her for allegedly failing to appear in court on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and numerous traffic violations. Gaines' family has not yet spoken out about these charges or her death.
The officers reportedly knocked on Gaines' door, which went unanswered, before retrieving a key from the landlord, police say. When the team opened the door, they were allegedly met by Gaines brandishing "a long gun," The Baltimore Sun reported. Shortly after the alleged standoff started, Gaines' 39-year-old boyfriend, Kareem Kiean Courtney, reportedly ran out of the apartment with a one-year-old baby, according to WBAL TV. Courtney, who was also wanted on assault charges, was arrested.
Gaines and the five-year-old boy, whom Gaines' uncle identified as her son, Kodi Gaines, stayed in the house for another several hours, during which Gaines posted a video of the boy to her Instagram account. In the video, Gaines asks why the police are at their house, and the boy says the police are there to kill them. Another Instagram video Gaines posted one week ago showed her handling a shotgun and displaying papers, which might be the legal documents required to purchase the weapon. Officials have not confirmed if the gun in the video is the same gun Gaines allegedly had during in the shooting.
Officers said that around 3 p.m., Gaines allegedly told them she would kill them if they didn't leave, at which point an officer reportedly fired at Gaines. Gaines reportedly fired back twice, and officers opened fire. When the shooting ended, Gaines was dead and her son was injured. According to police, it's not clear whether it was officers or Gaines who shot the boy.
According to NBC News, authorities say that the officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave. A clearer picture of this incident should emerge as more information becomes available.
Although the Baltimore County Police Department began phasing in a new body camera program last month, the department stated that none of the officers involved in this incident were wearing the devices, as the program is in its first stages and the department is outfitting 10 officers with the devices per week.