Officer Keona Holley died this week after she was taken off of life support on Thursday, just two days before Christmas. The Baltimore police officer had spent a week in the hospital after allegedly being ambushed and shot at by Elliot Knox and Travon Shaw. Police are investigating and mourning the loss of one of their own.
According to reports, the shooting happened on Dec. 16 at around 1:35 a.m. at the 4400 block of Pennington Avenue in Baltimore, Md. Holley was sitting in her patrol car doing an overtime shift of the neighborhood when Knox and Shaw ambushed her.
Keona Holley was taken to Shock Trauma and was in critical condition until her family and doctors made the tough decision to take her off life support this week. According to reports, her health was not improving.
Two hours after they shot the Baltimore officer, Knox and Shaw allegedly shot and killed 38-year-old Justin Johnson about 10 miles away in a different neighborhood. According to reports, Johnson owed one of the men $100. Police are unsure if there was any connection between the two victims.
A motive is unclear. Police used neighborhood security footage to identify the suspect’s car. That led them to Elliot Knox, who later confessed and told officers that Travon Shaw was also involved in the shooting.
Both men have been arrested and charged. Before the death of Officer Holley, both men were charged with attempted murder of Holley and the murder of Justin Johnson. It is unclear if those charges will change now that the police officer has died.
“While we had extensive interviews, we don’t quite have motive. We don’t know why they did this. We have absolute confessions that they did it, they were there. We don’t have motive as to why,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Since Keona Holley’s death, support for her family has been pouring in from Baltimore residents and strangers online. Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland just ordered the flags at the state house to be set to half-staff in honor of the fallen police officer. According to the governor, the flags will stay that way until her burial, which has not been set.
Police Commissioner Harrison and the Baltimore police department issued a statement to Holley’s family after the death of the Baltimore police officer. He said, “Our prayers are with Officer Holley’s family and loved ones, co-workers and the entire community. 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 of Baltimore also sent his condolences to the family and said that the city would never forget the sacrifices that she made.
According to those who knew her, Keona Holley was a loving mother and a great friend. Loved ones said that she was always smiling and had the “true heart of an officer.”
During a candlelight vigil held before her death, friends and family gathered to share their memories of the beloved officer. Deputy Chief of Patrol Martin Bartness, who was the commander of education and training when Holley was recruited to the Baltimore PD two years ago, said the mother of four was a special hire because of her amazing story.
“She stood out among hundreds of recruits because of her story her experience growing up in West Baltimore and wanting to serve the city,” he said.
Friends said that joining the police force was a goal for Holley and that she was known to take extra shifts to help raise her four children. Her last overtime shift sadly ended up costing her life.
The Signal 13 foundation announced that they would be providing support for Keona Holley’s family during the holiday season. The foundation provides assistance for officers and their families during times of need. Anyone who wishes to donate can go to their website.