Video was posted Thursday of Korryn Gaines’ son talking about the day he was shot and his mother was killed in a police-involved shooting in Randallstown.
The video starts with the 5-year-old boy saying, “So the police kicked the door down.”
The video shows the child in what appears to be a hospital gown, with bandages on his face and hand. He is talking into a camera about the incident.
The child said he didn’t want to leave the apartment and he didn’t want to go with his mother’s boyfriend when he left the apartment.
“He wanted you to go with him?” the child’s aunt said.
“No, I wanted to stay with my mother,” he said.
At one point in the video, the child said, “So we sneak in the bathroom, and the police was standing behind the door.”
When asked how the police got into the apartment, the boy says.
“They kicked the door,” he said.
“So they didn’t use a key? They kicked your door down?” the aunt asked.
“Yes, they just kicked the door down and my mother didn’t want to open it so I didn’t,” the child said.
As 11 News reported on Wednesday, court documents said police first used a landlord’s key to enter Gaines apartment, but kicked in the door to get through a chain lock. County police said it was a legal entry to serve arrest warrants.
Nearly six hours after the standoff began, negotiations between Gaines and police failed, and that’s when things escalated.
In the video, the child said that he and his mother went into the bathroom because she needed to use it.
“And so we sneak in the bathroom and my mother had to pee so she makes some noise, and then she want me to get the ashtray and put all the things out and then the police started shooting,” he said.
He then says in the video, “So my mother said, ‘Back off.'”
“So the police say, ‘We is backup.’ And then, they started shooting and I went in the couch, and then the police just took me away from her and then she died. The end,” he said.
County police said Tuesday police fired first on Gaines when, they said, she threatened to kill them. She was armed with a pistol grip shotgun and fired, but did not hit them, police said.
Another officer, police said, then fired three times, killing her.
In the video, the aunt asked the child, “So they shot my sister?”
“Yes,” he said.
“And they shot you too?” she asked.
“Yes, ’cause they saw me run, and then they hurt my arm,” he said.
“So they shot you on purpose?” the aunt asked.
“Yes, the end. That’s the rest,” he said. “So they put me in the ambulance, so they put me in the bed and drive me to the hospital.”
“So, when they saw you running they shot at you?” the aunt asked.
“Yes,” he said. “So they was driving to the hospital and then I started wanted an animal, and then I started crying, and then so worried about my mother,” he said as video ends.
Authorities said they are also still investigating if Gaines’ son was struck by a round and/or shrapnel from the officer’s weapon or from Gaines’ Mossbery shotgun. Police said they are not sure where the boy was at the time of the shooting.
“We’re extremely happy to see that this little boy is doing well and we are committed to continuing the most thorough investigation that we can muster in order to clarify and pin down all of the facts associated with this incident,” Baltimore County police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said.
Police: Gaines’ child likely injured by tactical officer
Police on Friday said they believe Gaines’ son was injured by a tactical officer’s bullet. Police said additional forensics tests will be conducted on the recovered round.
Authorities said they learned that after an additional medical procedure was performed Friday on Gaines’ son at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The injury is to the child’s left cheek.
Police confirm that the officer aimed at and struck Gaines after she aimed her Mossberg shotgun at him and threatened to kill him.
The social media factor
Gaines posted video to Instagram prior to the shooting Monday. Facebook took the account offline at the request of police.
On Thursday, a Facebook spokesperson said two of Gaines’ videos have been permanently deleted for violating policy against threats. Sources said Gaines can be seen brandishing the gun in one of the videos.
Police: Gaines’ child was not a hostage
Since Gaines’ child was not a hostage in this incident, and citing Maryland regulations, police said there are no audiotapes of the negotiations with Gaines. Police said the FBI defines “hostage” as a person held to fulfill a demand, and a threat of harm unless the demand is met. Police said even though Gaines’ son was not a hostage, police were concerned for his safety because of his mother’s unusual and erratic behavior, which police described as “engaging police in an armed barricade with a five-year-old at her side and wielding a firearm in the vicinity of the child.”
Baltimore County police said their homicide unit conducts an independent criminal investigation of all police-involved shootings and that investigation is ongoing. An administrative review, conducted for all police-involved shootings, also remains in progress, police said.
After those investigations are complete, the case will be turned over to the Office of the State’s Attorney for review. The Baltimore County Police Department’s Shooting Review Board, which reviews all police-involved shootings, will examine the case for compliance with agency standards, officials said.
Meanwhile, Baltimore County Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr., who represents the 4th District, released the following statement Thursday evening.
“My calls for a thorough investigation is consistent with our Police Department practices. Any incident where someone is killed, deserves a comprehensive investigation into the actions, practices and policies used during the incident. I have spoken with Chief Johnson and I am certain that such an investigation will be conducted and I look forward to the results of the investigation,” Jones said.
Police won’t release names of officers in Gaines’ fatal shooting
The Baltimore County Police Department’s standard procedure is to release the names of officers involved in shootings about 48 hours after the incident, complying with terms of an agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4, which specifies the delay to give officers and their families time to cope with the situation. Police Chief Jim Johnson has decided that because of serious safety concerns the department will not at this time release the name of the officer who fatally shot Gaines.
Officials said Baltimore County Police Department has received an unprecedented number of threats against police, including threats and actions against specific officers and officials.
“We constantly balance the need for transparency with the need to protect investigations and safety. This is a situation where I feel we must err on the side of safety,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the current national climate is a third significant factor in his decision to withhold the officer’s name at this time. The recent Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings, he said, show that lone wolf attacks by people emotionally caught up in current events are a real possibility.
Police said Gaines’ ideology, which was consistent with anti-government sentiment, is also a concern. While Gaines did not appear to have been actively affiliated with any specific anti-government group, she identified and behaved as a “free person” who does not recognize governmental authority, police said.
Johnson has completed a legal review of the entry by warrant service officers into Gaines’ apartment and confirmed legal requirements for entry to serve an arrest warrant were met after consultation the state’s attorney and law enforcement attorneys.
Police said they have confirmed, after multiple reviews, that there is no body camera footage filmed from inside the apartment or apartment building. There is body camera footage from several officers assigned to support roles on the outside perimeter of the incident and because that is part of the investigation, it won’t be released, police said.