On Monday morning, authorities came to the apartment with two arrest warrants — one for a man and another for a woman. The woman was wanted for failure to show up in court, resisting arrest, and traffic charges. The man was wanted for assault.
According to Police Chief Jim Johnson, the officers heard voices inside the apartment, but were not allowed inside. The detectives then acquired a key and opened the door.
The female suspect, identified as 23-year-old Korryn Shandawn Gaines, allegedly aimed a shotgun at police. Instead of firing on sight, the cops reportedly retreated and called for backup.
“My personnel showed great firearms restraint during this dialogue,” Johnson said of his department.
After an hours-long standoff, Gaines reportedly threatened officers with the weapon and police fired one shot.
Gunfire was exchanged afterward between the suspect and police.
Gaines was killed in the crossfire and the 5-year-old was injured and taken to a local hospital. The male suspect fled the apartment, but was later apprehended.
This tragic incident comes on the heels of numerous fatal interactions between Black Americans and police. Tensions are particularly high in Baltimore after it was revealed last week that charges had been dropped against all of the officers accused in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
In an address to the community, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby explained, “Never again should there be a question as to why someone is being stopped, detained or arrested due to the fact there will now soon be cameras.”
In the case of Gaines, it is unclear whether the officers were wearing cameras. But this detail will be crucial as the investigation unfolds, especially when distrust between the Black community and police is at an all-time high.
Family members, reeling from the tragedy, spoke out on Gaines’ behalf. Her uncle Jerome Barnett told The Baltimore Sun his niece “is a good person; I never knew her to be a rowdy person.”
Skepticism was also shared on social media.
In the wake of the tragedy, social media users posted a video Gaines allegedly uploaded before the situation came to a head:
This video was also allegedly uploaded to Gaines’ IG account:
One woman, claiming to be best friends with Gaines’ mother, said she had a history of mental illness:
A friend speaks out about the death of #Korryngaines & reveals more details about the incident. The friend said Korryn was unstable and her mother begged mental health to speak with Korryn, but police refused that option. Korryn also had a pending lawsuit against Baltimore police department. #Korryngaines⚘🙏
Transparency between the police and the community will be necessary to keep tensions from reaching a boiling point in the days to come.
This is a developing story. For more, visit WOLB Baltimore.