Black woman shot and killed and 5-year-old injured in standoff with Baltimore County police

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A black woman in a Baltimore suburb was killed after an hours-long standoff with local police that also injured her five-year-old son.

Korryn Gaines, 23, was the 9th black woman to be killed by police in 2016.

Baltimore County police said at a press conference on Tuesday that officers arrived at Gaines' apartment on Monday morning to serve an arrest warrant for her and Kareem Courtney, a man also living at the address.


Gaines' warrant was for a March traffic incident where Gaines was pulled over with a "Free Traveler" cardboard sign in place of a license plate. Documents released by Baltimore County police say Gaines told officers then they would have to "murder" her to get her out of the vehicle. During a Tuesday press conference, police said Courtney's warrant was for an assault charge relating to a domestic violence complaint Gaines had previously made.

Police Chief Jim Johnson told the Baltimore Sun that after the officers had the landlord unlock the door, they found Gaines sitting on the floor, holding her five-year-old son and aiming a shotgun at police. Johnson said officers retreated from the apartment and called for backup. Courtney also left the unit shortly after with a second child, leaving the five-year-old with Gaines, and was taken into police custody.


The apartment building was evacuated and police reinforcements arrived to begin an hours-long negotiation with Gaines.

"There were times when we thought this would come to a peaceful resolution, there were times when [Gaines] appeared highly agitated," Johnson said.

Gaines was actively posting on Facebook and Instagram during the standoff, but several of her profiles appeared to disappear during the day on Monday, re-appearing on Tuesday. Johnson said during a Tuesday press conference that they requested Facebook deactivate her accounts "to preserve the integrity of the negotiations," and that Facebook complied. Police claimed commenters on social media were encouraging her to continue the standoff.

A video posted to Gaines' restored Instagram account during this period appears to show her discussing the standoff with her son.


"What's happening right now? Who's outside?" Gaines can be heard asking.

"The police," the child answers.

"And what are they trying to do?" Gaines says.

"Trying to kill us?" he responds.

A police officer can also be heard asking Gaines about her phone, to which she responds that it's charging.


A second video on Gaines' Instagram account showed a heavily armored police officer standing at the door of her apartment. The video was removed from the account Tuesday morning around 12 p.m. without explanation.


According to police, Gaines told officers around 3 p.m. to leave or she would shoot them. That's when police apparently opened fire. Police said Gaines returned fire as well. She was hit multiple times and died. Her five-year-old son was injured in the exchange and taken to the hospital, and was reported to be in good condition as of Tuesday. No police were injured in the gunfight.

There were no other apparent witnesses to the incident, and none of the officers involved in the incident were wearing body cameras. Baltimore County only recently began rolling the devices out. The names of the officers involved in the shooting were not released. Police told NBC News they would be placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.


Her social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook consist of a mixture of pictures of herself and her children as well as messages expressing concern over police violence against black people and support for groups like Black Lives Matter.


A video uploaded two weeks before the shooting shows her loading ammunition into a shotgun, with the caption thanking her father for "teaching me who i need protection from."


The group Baltimore Bloc will hold a vigil for Gaines this Friday at Baltimore City College.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Gaines had a twin brother named Jermaine Barnett. Barnett is actually Gaines' uncle.