Five-year-old in stable condition as officials say he was hit in the cheek by an officer who has not been named
The Baltimore County police department confirmed late Friday afternoon that one of its officers had shot the five-year-old child of the woman they killed after a standoff in her apartment, but the department would not release the name of the shooting officer.
The injury from which the round was recovered is to the boys left cheek and is consistent with BCoPDs previous confirmation that he suffered a wound to an extremity and shrapnel wounds to the upper body, a statement from the department read. The child is in stable condition.
The barricade situation began when officers tried to serve a warrant on 23-year-old Korryn Gaines, who had failed to appear in court for charges relating to a March traffic stop that ended in Gaines arrest. When no one answered the officers knock, according to police officials, they gained partial entry with a key provided by property management and kicked open a safety chain. Inside, they saw Gaines with a shotgun.
Gaines boyfriend, Kareem Courtney, was also in the apartment and left with a one-year-old child. Police served him with a warrant for allegedly assaulting Gaines, and he has since been arrested over drugs that were found in the apartment, according to court documents.
Gaines mother told the Baltimore Sun she had been speaking with her daughter via Facebooks calling system at the time. She said Courtney tried to persuade Gaines to turn herself in, but Gaines refused and remained in the apartment during a nearly six-hour standoff with a tactical Swat-style team. I could hear her boyfriend telling her it wasnt worth it, to just come on out, her mother said.
Five-year-old Kodi Gaines remained inside with his mother. In an Instagram video made before police suspended her account, Gaines asked Kodi, Who is outside? He answered that it was the police, and when she asked him what they were trying to do, he responded: Theyre trying to shoot us.
Police contacted Facebook, which deactivated the accounts Gaines was using to post video of the situation. Although the company initially claimed that no video was deleted, it later said two videos were kept offline for allegedly violating the social media sites terms of service.
Around 3pm, according to the Baltimore County police chief, James Johnson, Gaines brought the weapon up to the ready position, announced to one or more of the tactical team personnel: If you dont leave, Im going to kill you.
Instead of leaving, an officer fired, and Gaines returned fire, the chief said. Our personnel returned three rounds of fire, striking her and killing her, Johnson said. He added an explanation of the decision not to name the officer who shot Kodi Gaines, citing an unprecedented number of threats against officers.
We constantly balance the need for transparency with the need to protect investigations and safety, he said. This is a situation where I feel we must err on the side of safety.
The incident was still under investigation, police said.
The child appears in a video apparently made by Kodis aunt, with both his cheek and his arm bandaged. In the video, he says that after the police kicked the door down, he hid in the closet. Later, he says he was by his mother, who said she had to go to the bathroom and made some noise and the police ended up shooting.
They saw me running and then they hurt my arm, he says, wincing and grasping his arm.
So they shot you on purpose? a woman asks.
Yes, he answers.
So when they saw you running, they shot at you? the woman asks again.
Yes, the boy repeats.
Before her death, Gaines was involved in a lawsuit alleging she was suffering from lead poisoning due to paint in the apartments where she grew up. At a Friday vigil, her father said that all six of his children had been poisoned by lead. The system was designed to kill you, he said.