Korryn Gaines’ son, Kodi, sits in his hospital bed with his arm and cheek bandaged as he recounts the details of the six-hour standoff that resulted in the death of his mother. Kodi Gaines appears in a video being recorded by his aunt, Korryn’s sister. In the video, Kodi says the police kicked their front door down while he and Korryn hid in the closet. Later, the child says he was near his mother who then had to use the bathroom. Kodi says Korryn made noise in the restroom, and that’s when police began shooting.
The Baltimore County police department confirmed late Friday afternoon that one of their officers shot the 5-year-old child of Korryn Gaines. Korryn was killed after a standoff in her apartment. The Baltimore County police department would not release the name of the shooting officer.
Baltimore County police confirm they shot Korryn Gaines’ son. https://t.co/vmS0QAAqmx
— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) August 5, 2016
A statement from the department describes the boy’s injuries.
“The injury from which the round was recovered is to the boy’s left cheek and is consistent with BCoPD’s previous confirmation that he suffered a wound to an extremity and shrapnel wounds to the upper body.”
Korryn Gaines, 23, failed to appear in court for charges relating to a traffic stop in March, which ended in Gaines being detained. Officers attempted to serve Korryn a warrant. According to police officials, when no one answered the officers’ knock, they gained partial entry with a key provided by property management, then kicked open a safety chain. Inside, officers claim they saw Gaines with a shotgun.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 4, 2016
It has been reported that Gaines’ finance, Kareem Courtney, was also in the apartment and left with a 1-year-old child. According to the Guardian, police served him with a warrant for allegedly assaulting Gaines. It has also been said Courtney has since been arrested for drugs that were found inside the couple’s apartment.
Korryn’s mother told the Baltimore Sun she was speaking to Korryn via Facebook’s calling system. Korryn’s mother said she and Courtney tried to persuade Korryn to turn herself in—however, Gaines refused.
Korryn stayed in her apartment with her son, Kodi, 5, during a six-hour standoff. Gaines’ mother recalls the fateful day, “I could hear her boyfriend telling her it wasn’t worth it, to just come on out.”
Before police suspended Korryn’s Instagram account, a video surfaced and made its way through the web. Gaines asked Kodi, “Who is outside?” Kodi says it was the police. Korryn then asks what they were trying to do, he responded as follows.
“They’re trying to kill us.”
Police contacted Facebook and asked them to deactivate her accounts. Gaines was using Facebook to post videos of the situation. Facebook initially claimed that no video was deleted, however, later Facebook said that two videos were kept offline for violating the social media sites’ terms of service.
Baltimore County police chief James Johnson describes the events that lead Korryn’s death. “[Korryn] brought the weapon up to the ready position, announced to one or more of the tactical team personnel: ‘If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you.'”
The officer didn’t leave. Instead, shots were fired. Gaines returned fire, the chief said. “Our personnel returned three rounds of fire, striking her and killing her.” Johnson explains the decision not to name the officer who shot Kodi Gaines, citing “an unprecedented number of threats” against officers.
“We constantly balance the need for transparency with the need to protect investigations and safety … This is a situation where I feel we must err on the side of safety.”
Before her tragic death, Korryn Gaines was involved in a lawsuit alleging she was suffering from lead poisoning due to the paint in the apartments in which she grew up. At a Friday vigil, Korryn’s father said all six of his children had been poisoned by lead. Korryn’s father seems to have similar viewpoints on the state of our government. “The system was designed to kill you.”
The incident is still under investigation.
[Photo via Facebook]