A woman who was holding her five-year-old son as she barricaded herself in her suburban Baltimore apartment was shot and killed by police Monday, officials said.
Baltimore County police said they shot and killed Gaines Monday after she pointed a gun at officers and threatened to kill them during an hours-long standoff at an apartment in Randallstown, Md.
At a Monday news conference, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said officers went to the home to serve arrest warrants on Gaines an an unidentified man who also lived there. The man was wanted on assault charges and Gaines was wanted on several charges related to a March incident and failure to appear in court.
After knocking on the door several times without being answered, an officer obtained a key to the apartment, where they found Gaines sitting on the floor with a weapon in one hand and her son in the other. Johnson said tactical personnel were called to the home and an hours-long negotiation began with Gaines. Around 3 p.m., Gaines repeatedly pointed a long gun at the officers, and told them if they didn't leave, "she was going to kill them."
An officer fired at Gaines and she shot several rounds back at them. The officers returned fire, killing her. The boy was also wounded in the exchange, but it is unclear where the boy was in the apartment at the time the shooting started and it has not been determined if he was shot by Gaines or police. He was hospitalized and was expected to survive his injury. Police told WBAL-TV that the man fled the apartment with a 1-year-old child, but was arrested soon after.
The names of the officers involved were not released, per an agreement with the police union, but are expected to be released later this week.
Gaines’ relatives described her as “smart” and were shocked by the incident. “I’m in a surreal state of mind right now,” her uncle Jermaine Barnett told The Baltimore Sun. “She was loved by everybody — I’m going to miss her and I love her.”