A Maryland woman holding her 5-year-old son was shot dead by police on Monday, when officers tried to arrest her for miscellaneous traffic violations. The boy was also shot in the leg.
Korryn Gaines was killed during an armed standoff that lasted several hours, after police arrived at her Randallstown apartment to issue a warrant for her arrest on Monday morning. Gaines had missed a court date set for resisting arrest during a traffic stop, disorderly conduct, and “numerous other traffic offenses” that were unspecified by Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson. Officers were also there to arrest an unidentified man for assault.
According to Johnson and spokeswoman Elise Armacost, police knocked on the apartment door to no avail, even though they heard people inside. When they obtained a key from a landlord, an officer walked through the door to find Gaines sitting with her son in her lap and pointing a gun at the cop. More officers were called to the scene for tactical support and other tenants in the building were told to evacuate. Johnson said police tried to talk to Gaines for several hours before things turned deadly around 3 p.m. At that time, Gaines said she would kill the police if they didn’t leave.
One of the cops fired a single shot at Gaines, in response. When the woman fired back, officers gunned her down, striking the child in the leg as well. Gaines was killed at the scene, and the boy was immediately taken to a hospital.
Police apprehended the wanted man prior to the shooting, when he tried to leave with a 1-year-old baby in his arms.
“We are of course extremely upset at an event like this,” Armacost said Monday night. “We do not like to be in a position of having to use lethal force, but this was a situation where our officers exercised patience for hours and hours.”
Authorities have launched an investigation, and the officers involved will soon be put on administrative leave.
At least eight others have been shot and killed by Maryland officers this year.