Korryn Gaines‘ mother is speaking out about her 23-year-old daughter’s final moments before she was shot and killed by Baltimore police in a standoff on Monday.
Rhonda Dormeus said she was on a Facebook call with her daughter as she sat on the floor of Randallstown apartment with a shotgun in hand and her 5-year-old son, Kodi, by her side.
Dormeus revealed Korryn’s boyfriend, Kareem Kiean Courtney, pleaded with her to surrender. “I could hear her boyfriend telling her it wasn’t worth it, to just come on out. At that time, the phone went dead,” she said.
Korryn’s mother, who arrived on the scene during the standoff, but was not allowed to speak with her daughter, said she does not believe Baltimore police wanted to hurt her daughter, but she also feels they could have done more to de-escalate the situation.
“I do feel like they didn’t want to hurt her. But I don’t feel like they exhausted all the means of negotiation,” Dormeus said.
An hours-long standoff ended when Gaines was killed by police after she pointed her gun at officers and threatened to kill them, authorities said. Police said an officer fired one shot and missed, prompting Gaines to fire back twice, missing the officers. Police then shot three more times, killing Gaines, police said.
Please note – NONE of the officers were wearing body cameras.
Korryn Gaines documented her run-ins with police on social media and some instances turned very ugly. She would often have her son videotape the encounters.
In one video, Korryn told her son, “They gone try to fight me. Do you understand? And I want you to record every part. Do you understand? Don’t be afraid.”
In another video, Korryn told Kodi, “Don’t be afraid. You see what they do to us, right? You fight them. They are not for us. They want to kill us, and you never, ever back down from them.”
During her standoff with the police, Korryn posted videos on Facebook and Instagram. Baltimore police confirmed they had her Facebook page shut down.
“We did in fact reach out to social media authorities to deactivate her account,” Police Chief Jim Johnson said, “in order to preserve the integrity of the negotiation process with her and for the safety of our personnel, her child.”
Korryn’s Instagram page is still up and shows the gun she allegedly threatened police with was purchased legally and registered.
Korryn had very strong views about self-defense. In one post she wrote, “Self defense is self-love.”
Her mother said Gaines’ political views were “for everybody.”
Dormeus stated, “Not all of her beliefs I agreed with. Her heart was in a good place, she loved her black people, and she just wanted them to see things for what she felt it really was.”
“She’s always been extremely friendly, outgoing,” Dormeus said. “I can sum it up like this, either you’re going to like her or you wouldn’t.”
A 2012 lawsuit filed in Baltimore claims Korryn suffered “neurological impairments” and lost “significant IQ points” as a result of lead poisoning.
Gaines sought $918,000 in damages.
Korryn Gaines’ five-year-old son, Kodi, is recovering at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the arm.
His grandmother said he also had bullet fragments in his face and damage to his right elbow, but he’s in good condition and is expected to be released on Monday.
Bless his sweet little heart.