A Baltimore woman is dead, and a boy is injured following a standoff with police. Baltimore County police say they opened fire on the woman identified as Korryn Shandawn Gaines, 23, after she pointed a shotgun at them and threatened to kill. At around 9:20 a.m on Monday morning, three officers arrived at the apartment where Gaines resided in Randallstown, located near Baltimore, MD with arrest warrants for Gaines, and 39-year-old Kareem Courtney. Courtney was wanted for assault while Gaines was wanted on a bench warrant for failure to appear in court. The warrant stemmed from an array of traffic violations, according to police.
Reportedly, an investigation of Maryland court documents revealed that police filed separate claims on Gaines involving a March 11 traffic stop. An officer issued Gaines various traffic citations (at least $560 in fines) and filed criminal charges the following day stemming from the same traffic stop. Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said she was initially pulled over for driving without a license plate. According to Johnson, in place of a tag Gaines installed a cardboard with a handwritten message which warned government officials not to compromise her right to travel.
Police say a warrant was filed for Gaines’ arrest after she failed to appear in court on July 13, according to court records. Gaines was accused of an array of misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct and failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order.
On Monday, police opened the door to Gaines’ the apartment after 10-minutes of knocking on the door, said Johnson during a press conference. According to Johnson, police opened the door, which was secured with a chain after obtaining a key and found Gaines sitting on the floor with a 12-gauge shotgun and began aiming it at the officers while holding her five year-old son in her right hand. Allegedly, records show that Gaines purchased the gun last year.
Officers took cover in the hallway and called for strategic backup. Johnson added that his personnel showed great fire arm restraint as they proceeded to negotiate with Gaines. Gaines allegedly shifted between calm and agitated throughout the encounter. At around 4 p.m. after hours of standoff, police say Gaines verbally threatened to kill them.
“If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you. I’m going to kill you.” Johnson Quoted Gaines as threatening the officers. A police officer fired one shot at Gaines, and Gaines in turn fired several rounds back. Police then responded with more shots ultimately killing Gaines and striking her five-year-old son in the arm.
The boy, who is in stable condition is being treated at the John Hopkin’s Hospital in Baltimore. It’s unclear of who fired the shot that wounded him or his location in the apartment at the time that the shot was fired.
Johnson added: “For hours we pleaded with her to end it peacefully. We were concerned about the safety of the child.”
Police deny any claims that they were the ones responsible for disabling Gaines’ account stemming from the fact that Gaines posted footage of the standoff while it occurred. “Her account was deactivated but nothing was deleted” said department spokeswoman Elise Armacost. The officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedures. Their names will be released on Thursday morning.
Courtney, the 39-year-old man that was in the apartment with Gaines, was apprehended after leaving out of the front door of the apartment with a 1-year-old but was released from custody on his own recognizance. Why he left with only one child remains unknown. The relationship of the children to either Gaines, or Courtney has yet to be confirmed.
Anger against police violence remains at an all time high in Baltimore. Just last year Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, 25, died on April 19 after suffering from a spinal injury while in police custody. Gaines’ uncle, Jerome Barnett said that his niece “was feisty, but she was smart and she was respectful.” My niece is a good person; I never knew her to be a rowdy person, he told the Baltimore Sun.
Gaines is the ninth Black woman killed at the hands of police this year.