Korryn Gaines: Mother Holding Five-Year-Old Son Shot Dead by Police During Traffic Violations Arrest Stand-Off
Lizzie Dearden, Independent, August 2, 2016
A mother who allegedly threatened police with a shotgun has been shot dead in the US during a raid over driving offences.
Korryn Gaines’s five-year-old son was also shot in a limb during a stand-off with police at their home in Randallstown, Maryland.
Baltimore County Police said the boy was taken to hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and would not confirm whether the child was struck by a bullet fired by his 23-year-old mother or police.
Tributes were being paid to Ms Gaines from across the US on Tuesday, with her death being condemned by friends, relatives and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The race of the officers who shot the mother, who was black, have not been released, but campaigners characterised the incident as a continuation of a series of controversial police shootings involving people of colour.
A police spokesperson said three officers were executing an arrest warrant on Ms Gaines and a man at the same address on Monday morning.
He was wanted for assault, while Ms Gaines had had failed to appear in court over several traffic charges, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after being stopped by police last March.
After hearing a man and woman talking inside and the sound of a child crying, police obtained a key to the apartment from the landlord and opened the door to find Ms Gaines pointing a shotgun with one arm and holding her son in the other.
“The officers retreated to the hallway outside the apartment and called for additional support,” the spokesperson said.
“The male suspect ran from the apartment with a one-year-old boy–one of two children in in the apartment with the couple–and was apprehended by police.
“The armed woman remained inside with the five-year-old boy, and a barricade situation began at about 9.40am and continued throughout the afternoon.”
Baltimore County Police said an officer opened fire at around 3pm (8pm BST) local time after she pointed her shotgun at an officer saying: “If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you.”
Ms Gaines allegedly returned fire with two shots, missing officers, and was “struck multiple times” by bullets, dying at the scene.
Editor’s Note: ABC 2 reports:
The [police] chief said Gaines was also posting updates to her Facebook and Instagram accounts as the barricade was unfolding, and was being encouraged not to back down by her followers.
According to a police report provided by Baltimore County Police, Gaines was pulled over in March for not having a license plate on her car.
The report states a piece of cardboard in the car had the words Free Traveler written on it, and a rear piece of cardboard read, “Any government official who compromises this pursuit of happiness and right to travel will be held criminally responsible and fined, as this is a natural right and freedom.”