In a case that highlighted police brutality against Black women, attorneys argue that the 23-year-old mother did not point her shotgun at cops after an hours-long standoff in August 2016, they wrote in an amended lawsuit filed Tuesday in Baltimore County Circuit Court. Royce Ruby Jr., a county tactical officer who fatally struck Gaines with an assault rifle from the hallway outside her apartment, had responded to the mother having brandished the weapon, according to Baltimore police records.
“There was this … suggestion that Korryn Gaines was pointing her weapon at police officers at the time she was shot,” Kenneth Ravenell, an attorney who represents Gaines’ son, Kodi, who was also struck twice during the shooting, said. “That is just not true.”
The lawsuit also said that other cops testified that “there was a pause of approximately 30 seconds” after Ruby’s initial shot.
Ruby opened fire and hit Gaines’ twice after having responded to her home on an arrest warrant. Kodi, who was standing at Gaines’ hip, was scarred by bullets in his face and his elbow, Ravenell said.
The young mother’s family first filed a lawsuit against Ruby, Baltimore county and other police officers last year. The shooting was “legally justified,” Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger also ruled last year. No criminal charges were filed against officers involved in the shooting, to the dismay of communities of color.
“I stand by the statements I made in public concerning the outcome of this case,” Shellenberger said Tuesday. “I believe the Baltimore County Police Department did a thorough investigation that allowed me to come to the conclusion that this was a justifiable shooting.”
Aside from case facts, Gaines’ son is suffering from post-traumatic stress, WBAL-TV reported.
“He’s going to remember that he watched his mother be gunned down in his presence,” Ravenell, who said Gaines’ child should receive compensation for his pain and anguish, explained. “That’s what this 6-year-old will have to live with for the rest of his life.”
A civil trial is scheduled to begin in Baltimore County Circuit Court on January 30.