Baltimore County Police arrived at an apartment to arrest Korryn Gaines, 23, for traffic violations. Tragically, the situation quickly escalated and left Gaines dead and her 5-year-old with a gunshot wound from police.
According to police, the officers knocked on the door with no response and obtained a key from the landlord. Upon entering, Gaines was reportedly waiting with a shotgun and asked the officers to leave. After a standoff that lasted for hours, Gaines allegedly said, “If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you.”
An officer fired once, which Gaines returned, prompting other officers on the scene fire their weapons. It is not yet clear who shot the 5-year-old boy, who is expected to recover after receiving treatment at a local hospital, according to Vox.
“We are of course extremely upset at an event like this,” police spokesperson Elise Armacost said, according to NBC News. “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.”
With tensions and distrust between the black community and police officers at an historically high point, many activists and civilians are waiting for more details, given that most of the current information has been released by the Baltimore County Police Department. Some have turned to Gaines’ social media accounts, which reportedly show her interactions with police going back to May, and suspect that she may have been targeted by police.
There are also questions surrounding the extremely aggressive tactics that were used to issue a warrant for a misdemeanor offense.
Many are concerned with how exactly Gaines’ son was caught in the crossfire, while some horrifically assert that the child was being used as a shield. But no information has been released to substantiate those claims.
“My niece is a good person; I never knew her to be a rowdy person,” said Jerome Barnett, Gaines’ uncle.
This incident is the latest highly publicized police killing this summer, and it raises even more questions about the systemic issues in policing that perpetuate incidents like these. This loss is a tragic one. However, the involvement of a young child who was not only injured, but will grow up with the memories of what happened that day makes it even more heartbreaking.
We will update this story as more details emerge.
Photo Credit: Twitter