US & Canada

US woman tried to live stream police standoff

pic of Gaines Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Korryn Gaines turned to Facebook and Instagram to record her confrontation with the police

A woman killed in a police standoff outside Baltimore tried to live stream the siege but authorities successfully had her social media accounts deactivated.

The seven-hour standoff started after police tried to execute a warrant for the arrest of Korryn Gaines.

Gaines, who was armed with a shotgun, was shot dead in her apartment while her 5-year-old son watched.

Police said her followers on Facebook encouraged her not to give in.

According to Facebook's policies, accounts can be suspended if law enforcement believe individuals are at risk of harm.

Police Chief Jim Johnson has said their decision to request a de-activation was based upon the fact Gaines had a gun and a child was present during her standoff with officers.

Gaines' social media accounts have been restored. But two videos are missing and are being withheld for violating Facebook's standards - which include a provision against inciting violence.

Videos posted on Gaines' Instagram appear to show her talking to her son during the standoff.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The standoff at a suburban apartment complex lasted seven hours

In one clip, Gaines questions her son about the situation unfolding outside, with a police officer visible through her open door.

"What [are the police] trying to do?" she asks the boy.

"They're trying to kill us,' he replies.

Officers claim Gaines threatened to shoot them if they entered her apartment and that she fired shots several times.

Gaines' mother, Rhonda Dormeus, told The Baltimore Sun her daughter ignored pleas to surrender.

Ms Dormeus believes she might have been able to help calm her and end the situation peacefully had she been allowed to speak with her.

Gaines had a history of mental health problems, including anxiety, her former doctor said in an interview.

"I do feel like they didn't want to hurt her," Ms Dormeus said, referring to the police. "But I don't feel like they exhausted all the means of negotiation."

The initial warrant for Gaines' arrest related to a traffic stop charge dating back to March.