BALTIMORE (AP) — In the midst of a five-hour standoff that turned deadly, Facebook granted an emergency request from the Baltimore County Police Department to take offline the social media accounts belonging to a woman who wielded a shotgun at officers.
Baltimore County Police officers shot and killed Korryn Gaines, 23, after she barricaded herself inside her Randallstown apartment with her 5-year-old son and pointed a shotgun at officers attempting to serve an arrest warrant.
Police Chief Jim Johnson said Tuesday that the department made the emergency request to have Gaines’ social media accounts suspended after she posted videos online showing the standoff. People who saw the postings, Johnson said, responded by encouraging her to not comply with police.
Videos posted on Facebook and Instagram appeared to show Gaines, who was black, talking with police in the doorway to her apartment and to her son during the standoff. In one, she asks her son what the police are trying to do.
“They trying to kill us,” the boy says.
“Do you want to go out there?”
“No,” he says.
The standoff Monday began after three officers went to Gaines’ apartment to serve arrest warrants on her and her boyfriend, Kareem K. Courtney, 39, according to police. He left the apartment with a 1-year-old boy before the standoff and was arrested.
Gaines’ bench warrant stemmed from charges during a March 10 stop, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Authorities said she was armed with a 12-gauge pistol grip shotgun that was legally purchased last year and toward the end of the negotiations pointed it directly at an officer and said, “If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you.”
An officer shot at her and Gaines fired two shots, but missed the officers, who returned fire and killed her, police said.
Gaines also posted videos from the March traffic stop on her Instagram account. Police said she was pulled over because instead of a license plate, she had a cardboard tag that said: “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.”
During the stop, she said officers were trying to “steal her car,” that she wasn’t complying with officers’ “criminal” way. She said they would have to “murder” her to get her out of her car, according to court documents.
Officers said she had to be pulled from the car and repeatedly yelled “record this” as a crowd of people gathered while police were arresting her.
Facebook has restored Gaines’ social media pages, but a pair of videos that violated Facebook’s standards have been blocked from public view.
According to the tech company’s policies, requests from law enforcement to suspend accounts may be granted in cases where there is a substantial risk of harm. The police chief said county police based their de-activation request on the fact that there was a barricade involving someone with a gun, and that a child was present.
According to a Facebook Government Request Report, the company received roughly 855 requests for emergency disclosures of information to government agencies due to the threat of harm or violence between July and December 2015. About 73 percent of those requests were granted.
The boy is in good condition at a hospital. Police were not sure whether he was hit by gunfire or shrapnel.
Gaines’ boyfriend is charged with second-degree assault, which stems from a fight with Gaines, police said. He has been released on his own recognizance.
The department did not release the names or races of the officers involved, who were placed on administrative leave. Their first initials and last names will be released 48 hours after the shooting, in accordance with the department’s contract with the Fraternal Order of Police.
The department is bringing body cameras online but none of the officers had one.
Court documents show that Gaines filed a lawsuit against a former landlord, alleging that she was lead poisoned. The suit said Gaines was “exposed to a sea of lead” as a child, which contributed to “neurodevelopmental disabilities or injuries.”
A medical expert who evaluated Gaines wrote that she “had a history of problems with anger and impulsive behavior,” and visited her school counselor on several occasions. The suit identifies Gaines’ father as Ryan Gaines, a police dispatcher.
Baltimore City Schools spokeswoman Edie House-Foster confirmed Tuesday that Gaines was a 2010 graduate of one of the city’s best magnet high schools, Baltimore City College.
Gaines’ uncle Jerome Barnett told The Baltimore Sun that Gaines “was feisty, but she was smart and she was respectful.”
RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A woman who pointed a long gun at police serving arrest warrants at her apartment was shot and killed by officers in a shootout that also left a 5-year-old boy wounded, Baltimore County police said.
After an hours-long standoff, police said in a news release that Korryn Gaines, 23, pointed the gun directly at an officer Monday afternoon and said, “If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you.” That’s when an officer shot at the woman, police said, and Gaines fired two shots, but didn’t strike any officer.
“We discharged one round at her,” Police Chief James Johnson told reporters at an evening news conference. “In return, she fired several rounds back at us. We fired again at her, striking and killing her.”
Gaines was hit several times and pronounced dead at the scene. The boy in the apartment with Gaines was shot in a limb and taken to a hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening, but police said they could not immediately determine if he was shot by the woman or officers. Police have not released the relationship between Gaines and the child.
The standoff began after three officers went to Gaines’ apartment in Randallstown to serve arrest warrants on her and a man, according to police. Gaines was wanted for failing to appear in court on traffic charges dating from a stop in March and the man was wanted for assault, authorities said.
One officer got a key from the landlord and opened the apartment after no one responded to repeated knocks. The officer saw Gaines sitting on the floor, pointing a long gun at him, police said. The officers retreated to the hallway, and a man ran from the apartment with a 1-year-old boy, authorities said. That man was arrested.
Police negotiators tried to talk with Gaines, who they said pointed the gun at tactical officers several times and refused to surrender. Officers staged in the hallway had a clear line of sight through the open door to where Gaines was positioned, police said.
It is not known of if any of the officers were equipped with body cameras, which the department brought online just a few weeks ago.
Police said Gaines’ bench warrant stemmed from an array of traffic charges, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Gaines was charged after a traffic stop last March.
Online court records say Gaines was black. The department did not give the races of the officers involved, who were placed on routine administrative leave. Their names will be released 48 hours after the incident, in accordance with the department’s contract with the Fraternal Order of Police.
This is the county’s third shooting involving an officer in 2016, and the first fatal shooting involving an officer this year.
(Photo Source: Facebook)