BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Testimony continued Thursday in the trial for a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Korryn Gaines, who was fatally shot in a standoff with police.
The plaintiffs rested their case and the defense will begin to present Friday morning.
Attorneys for Gaines’ family read Officer Royce Ruby’s depositions Thursday. They said Ruby was never threatened by Gaines and her son Kodi has suffered a great deal since his mom was killed.
Gaines was killed during an hours-long standoff in 2016 at her Randallstown apartment after pointing a shotgun at officers trying to serve an arrest warrant stemming from a traffic stop that included disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Gaines streamed parts of the six-hour standoff on Facebook Live.
“This trial is far from over, so we just have to remain focused and keep doing what we’re doing,” said J. Wyndal Gordon, lawyer for the Gaines family.
A still image of Officer Ruby from the Facebook video turned into the plaintiffs’ focus. They said he was in a “low ready position.” Gordon asked Dr. Tyrone Powers, a former FBI agent, “Does Ruby appear to be holding the weapon in a way there’s an immediate threat?”
“No sir,” Powers said.
“We just don’t believe–the way that he appeared in that picture–the way that he handled his weapon and his whole demeanor–shows that he was threatened by Korryn in anyway,” Gordon said.
Ruby said “I watched Gaines’ shotgun come up, up and up into the firing position.
Attorneys for Gaines’ family claim officers used excessive force when they fatally shot her and injured her 5-year-old son. They also say police violated her rights by illegally entering her apartment.
The attorneys said “But could you see Kodi Gaines?”
“I could not. I assumed Kodi was near his mother, but didn’t know,” Officer Ruby responded.
“I think the evidence points to the fact that Ruby was very callous and savage when it came to the shooting of Ms. Gaines,” Gordon said.
Kodi’s father said he asked his son in the ambulance on the day of the barricade, what had happened and he said Kodi told him “I went in the kitchen to make a sandwich and the police shot my mom.”
Kodi’s father said his son is “a shell of his former self. The light in Kodi’s eyes is gone” and he “no longer wants to be a police officer.”
County prosecutors previously found Officer Ruby’s shooting legally justified and charges weren’t filed.