An “unprecedented number of threats” have been made against the Baltimore County Police Department since the fatal police shooting of Korryn Gaines on Monday, according to CBS Baltimore.
Because of the increase, Chief Jim Johnson has chosen not to identify the officer who fired the deadly shot during the Randallstown incident, even though the department’s standard procedure is to release the names of officers involved in shootings about 48 hours after the incident.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, also standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.
The incident has many questioning whether or not the shooting was justified. Gaines’s 5-year-old son, Kobi, was shot and injured during the standoff and is currently recovering at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital. From his hospital bed, Kodi’s aunt and cousin recorded a series of videos in which he recounts what he remembers from the shooting. (The one posted here is the aunt’s version.)
In addition to serving the arrest warrant for Gaines, police on Monday were also serving a warrant for Kareem Courtney on second-degree assault charges.
Upon arrival to the home, police say three officers knocked on the door of the residence but no one answered. Minutes later, after overhearing the voices of a man and woman and a child’s cries coming from inside, officers opened the door using a key obtained from the landlord.
During a new conference on Tuesday, Johnson said officers could see Gaines sitting on the floor with a child nearby. Johnson says Gaines immediately began wielding a 12-gauge shotgun around, bringing it into the ready position and directing at the officers.
Three officers then retreated to the hallway outside and called for backup, according to police.
Johnson says tactical teams surrounded the home and negotiations began with Gaines around 9:40 a.m.
Minutes later, 39-year-old Kareem Courtney ran out of the home with a 1-year-old boy and was immediately apprehended. He was arrested on a warrant for second degree assault and was later released.
During the 7-hour stand-off, police say Gaines used social media to broadcast the ongoing situation.
There is some controversy surrounding the fact that police asked Facebook to deactivate her accounts and remove those videos, but they say her followers were encouraging her not to comply with requests that she surrender peacefully.
At approximately 4 p.m., officers again attempted to negotiate with Gaines — who was still with her 5-year-old son — into surrendering, but police say she refused and pointed the gun at officers multiple times, even threatening to kill them saying, “”If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you.”
Johnson says it was at this point that a tactical officer discharged one round toward Gaines, but police do not know if she was struck.
Gaines then returned fire, but no officers were struck.
Officers then fired back, hitting and killing Gaines. When officers went to render aid, they noticed that the 5-year-old boy, Gaines’s son Kodi, was also struck.
In a series of video interviews recorded by Kobe’s cousin from his hospital, the 5-year-old recalls how the police entered the home and shot first. He also said he wanted to remain with his mother, and she was not forcing him to stay in a dangerous situation.
Kodi also says that once the police started to shoot, he and his mom tried to run away, which is when he was shot in the arm.
Per CBS Baltimore:
According to an update on the case released by police Thursday, they still do not know whether the boy “was struck by a round and/or shrapnel from the officer’s weapon or Gaines’ Mossberg shotgun.”
The update also said that, after consultation with the State’s Attorney and law enforcement attorneys, the department “has confirmed that the legal requirements for entry to serve an arrest warrant were met,” and that there was no body camera footage filmed from inside the apartment.
“BCoPD’s body camera program is less than a month old, and only about 40 of the 1,900 officers in the agency currently are equipped with them,” the release said. There is, however, body camera footage from several officers assigned to support roles on the outside perimeter of the incident, but it is part of the investigation and will not be released at this time.
There are also no audiotapes of the negotiations, police say.
“In Maryland, the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 10-402 of the Annotated Code allows recording only in hostage situations. The child, Kodi Gaines, was not a hostage in this incident; the FBI defines “hostage” as a person held to fulfill a demand, and a threat of harm unless the demand is met.”