Early Monday morning, police had gone to serve several arrest warrants on two suspects, a man and a woman, at Sulky Court in Randallstown, in Baltimore County, Maryland. Officers heard male, female and children’s voices inside the apartment.
They waited outside the door for around 10 minutes, Police Chief Jim Johnson said during a press conference Monday, and one officer obtained a key to the apartment.
Upon opening the door, they saw the woman, identified as 23-year-old Korryn Shandawn Gaines, aiming a shotgun at them. The officers retreated and called for tactical backup.
“My personnel showed great firearms restraint during this dialogue,” Johnson said.
At around 3 p.m., after several hours of a standoff, the woman threatened officers verbally and with the weapon, according to the police account.
One police officer fired a single shot, to which the suspect fired back. Officers responded with further shots and the woman, as well as a 5-year-old child who had remained in the apartment, were struck.
Gaines was killed and the boy is being treated for non-life threatening injuries in an area hospital.
It is not clear, police say, if it was a shot from Gaines’ weapon or a police firearm that struck the child.
I’m frankly impressed by the restraint shown by law enforcement incident, both by the patrol officers who went to execute what was supposed to be a relatively routine warrant service on minor charges, and the SWAT officers who attempted to convince Gaines to surrender.
The warrant-serving officers had every right to open fire in self-defense the moment they unlocked the door and saw Gaines point the shotgun at them. Instead of putting the lives of children at risk, they put their own lives at risk by retreating when they could have easily been killed doing so.
Officers then showed great restraint at the unnamed male suspect wanted on the assault charge then fled the apartment with the baby. Having just had the shotgun pointed at them a few seconds before, it would have been reasonable to assume that any movement coming through the door was Gaines coming out to attack the out-gunned officers in the hallway. They again held their fire, getting the man and baby safely away from the scene before arresting him peacefully.
The tactical officers then faced off at close range against Gaines, who was holding the five-year-old hostage inside the apartment.
The officers tried repeatedly to reason with her, and she responded by threatening to murder the officers. Officers then engaged Gaines in a shootout as the continued to point the shotgun at officers, and she lost.
Gaines died in the shooting.
The five year old suffered non-life threatening injured thanks to her actions. It isn’t yet 100% clear whether he was actually shot as the media is reporting, or if he suffered injuries from shrapnel.