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Lawyers for Korryn Gaines' family file amended complaint against Baltimore County, police officers

Complaint includes 2 new officers
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Posted at 11:37 AM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 06:46:10-04

Attorneys for the family of Korryn Gaines, the woman shot to death by Baltimore County Police two months ago, have filed an amended complaint against the county, the officer who shot her and two additional officers. 

The wrongful death suit was originally filed about a month ago against Baltimore County and one police officer.  Lawyers for the family of Gaines say they received around 10 pounds of documents from the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office late last week, and after going through those records and statements, the suit has been expanded to include two additional officers.

"These two officers were the first two officers to visit upon Ms. Gaines' apartment unit, claiming to have an arrest warrant and unlawfully breaching her doorway with a key obtained by the rental office and observe her inside," said Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon.

Police showed up at the Randallstown complex on Aug.1 to serve arrest warrants to the 23-year-old and her fiancé.  Lawyers say the cops had no right to enter the apartment, and from there on out, Gaines had her constitutional rights violated multiple times.

"There was a lot of things that occurred here and they know they were wrong,” Gordon said.  “But they continued to go down this track without any inclination to retreat."

ABC 2 News sat down with Baltimore County State's Attorney, Scott Shellenberger, and he said a 1980 Supreme Court ruling makes the entry into Gaines' apartment legal, standing by his decision he made about three weeks ago that the shooting was justified.

"Once they entered the apartment, she pointed a shotgun at them immediately,” Shellenberger said.  “Well, that's a felony, it's a first-degree assault, they then backed out and that's when the hostage negotiator and tactical team was called in."

The seven-hour standoff took a violent turn when Gaines followed her 5-year-old son into the kitchen area of the unit.  Shellenberger said the new position meant officers near the front door were now in danger.  So Ofc. Royce Ruby fired the first shot.

Family lawyers claim Ruby pulled the trigger blindly. 

Shellenberger disagrees, saying the 16-year veteran of the force feared for the safety of his team and the little boy when he decided to shoot.

"It was not blind because in fact, he saw where the gun was and he saw where her hair braids were, so he knew exactly where he was aiming and what he was aiming at," Shellenberger said.           

Ruby fired a total of four shots.  Gaines was killed, and her son was grazed by a bullet on the cheek.         

Gordon calls the entire barricade situation and shooting a reckless murder.

"We sincerely believe that Korryn Gaines was shot out of frustration and not out of fear by any of the officers present," he said.

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