Korryn Gaines
Korryn Gaines

Mother holding boy shot dead by US police

A mother who allegedly threatened police with a shotgun has been shot dead in the US during a raid over driving offences.

Korryn Gaines's five-year-old son was also shot in a limb during a stand-off with police at their home in Randallstown, Maryland.

Baltimore County Police said the boy was taken to hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and would not confirm whether the child was struck by a bullet fired by his 23-year-old mother or police.

Tributes were being paid to Ms Gaines from across the US on Tuesday, with her death being condemned by friends, relatives and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The race of the officers who shot the mother, who was black, have not been released, but campaigners characterised the incident as a continuation of a series of controversial police shootings involving people of colour.

There was also suspicion over the reported deletion of Facebook videos posted by Ms Gaines during the stand-off and other social media posts.

A police spokesperson said three officers were executing an arrest warrant on Ms Gaines and a man at the same address on Monday morning.

He was wanted for assault, while Ms Gaines had had failed to appear in court over several traffic charges, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after being stopped by police last March.

After hearing a man and woman talking inside and the sound of a child crying, police obtained a key to the apartment from the landlord and opened the door to find Ms Gaines pointing a shotgun with one arm and holding her son in the other.

"The officers retreated to the hallway outside the apartment and called for additional support," the spokesperson said.

"The male suspect ran from the apartment with a one-year-old boy - one of two children in in the apartment with the couple - and was apprehended by police.

"The armed woman remained inside with the five-year-old boy, and a barricade situation began at about 9.40am and continued throughout the afternoon."

Police said the apartment building was evacuated as the stand-off continued for several hours with negotiators as Ms Gaines refused to surrender.

Baltimore County Police said an officer opened fire at around 3pm (8pm BST) local time after she pointed her shotgun at an officer saying: "If you don't leave, I'm going to kill you."

Ms Gaines allegedly returned fire with two shots, missing officers, and was "struck multiple times" by bullets, dying at the scene.

A spokesperson said a body camera programme was being rolled out in the Baltimore County Police service and that she could not say whether the incident had been filmed.

All officers involved in this incident were placed on administrative leave, with their names expected to be released on Wednesday.

A vigil was planned on Friday from 7pm at Baltimore City College.

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