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Hero Down: Baltimore PD Officer Keona Holley Succumbs To Wounds From Ambush Attack

Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Police Department Officer Keona Holley died on Thursday night, one week after she was ambushed and shot twice in the back of the head as she sat on duty in a patrol car in Curtis Bay.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said that the 39-year-old Officer Holley had volunteered to work overtime on Dec. 16 and was sitting in a crime-plagued neighborhood in the middle of the night when she was ambushed from behind by the gunman, WBAL reported.

Police said that Officer Holley hit the gas on her police vehicle after she was shot and crashed into the fence of Curtis Bay Park.

A disturbing video posted to social media showed the immediate aftermath of the shooting, with witnesses debating whether to call the police to get help for the wounded officer.

Officers responded to the crash scene and discovered the wrecked police car and Officer Holley suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The mother of four was transported to University of Maryland Shock Trauma in critical condition.

Police arrested two suspects in connection with the ambush of Officer Holley on Dec. 17.

Investigators learned that after 31-year-old Elliot Knox and 32-year-old Travon Shaw allegedly shot Officer Holley, they fled and went on to murder another man two hours later, WJZ reported.

Charging documents said that Knox and Shaw shot Officer Holley in the back of the head, twice, WBAL reported.

The police commissioner and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott both called the suspects who murdered Officer Holley “cowards.”

Knox and Shaw remain in custody, held without bond while awaiting trial for the murders of Officer Holley and the man they killed later the same night, Justin Johnson, WJZ reported.

Baltimore police said that Officer Holley’s family made the difficult decision to remove her from life support two days before Christmas after doctors determined she would not recover from her wounds, WBAL reported.

Commissioner Harrison said that Officer Holley, a mother of four children, left nursing to join the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) in December of 2019 because she wanted to make a change in her city.

“Our prayers are with Officer Holley’s family and loved ones, co-workers and the entire community,” the city’s top cop said. “I thank her and the entire BPD community for their commitment, service and sacrifice. We mourn Officer Holley’s death together and we will heal together.”

The mayor also released a statement of condolence, WBAL reported.

“I offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Keona Holley, a devoted public servant who worked selflessly to protect our community,” Scott said. “Baltimore will never forget Officer Holley’s sacrifice and commitment to making a difference in her beloved city. I ask that everyone please keep Officer Holley’s family in your prayers as they endure the holiday season without their mother, daughter, sister and loyal friend.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered flags lowered to half-staff at the Maryland State House and said they would remain that way in honor of Officer Holley’s sacrifice until after the hero has been interred.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Baltimore Police Department Officer Keona Holley, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Officer Holley, your life mattered.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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