Life support

Ambushed Baltimore cop on life support describes as devoted mother: “An officer’s heart”

An ambushed Baltimore police officer on life support is described as a dedicated mother, daughter and sister, as fundraising efforts continue after the nighttime shooting.

Officer Keonna Holley, a two-year force member, was shot and wounded at 1:35 a.m. Thursday morning in the 4400 block of Pennington Ave.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the officer was shot at his designated post while sitting in his vehicle working overnight in the high crime area of ​​Curtis Bay.


Baltimore Police Officer Keonna Holley was placed on life support after an ambush-style gunshot attack last week.

“She truly embodies the heart of an officer who truly cares about the community she serves and it’s not that she’s in the position she is now. It’s the truth. It’s honestly. the truth, “Christine Lamonica, who worked alongside Holley in Baltimore’s Southern District, said WBAL-TV.

“I just want her to wake up and text him this asking her to stop ignoring me, you know,” Lamonica said. “She always had a way to make you feel welcome. Always check up on you. Always be that person who wanted to know you were okay. And now she’s the one not doing well.”

Investigators say the gunman approached from behind and shot at the parked vehicle, which then accelerated and crashed. Holley was rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Travon Shaw, 32, (left) and Elliot Knox, 31 (right) are both charged with the attempted murder of Constable Keonna Holley and the murder of Justin Johnson.

Travon Shaw, 32, (left) and Elliot Knox, 31 (right) are both charged with the attempted murder of Constable Keonna Holley and the murder of Justin Johnson.
(Baltimore Police)

Dr Thomas Scalea of ​​the Shock Trauma Department said in an update Thursday night that Holley was “gravely ill”, had undergone “operative therapy” and remained in intensive care “under full resuscitation”.

Two arrests were announced on Friday – and the same two suspects accused of injuring the officer were involved in a second shootout, the homicide of Justin Johnson, 38, which occurred about 10 miles away shortly after Holley was ambushed.

Elliot Knox, 31, and Travon Shaw, 32, are both charged with the attempted murder of Constable Holley and the murder of Johnson, which occurred in Block 600 of Lucia Avenue. The homicide occurred while investigators were still dealing with Holley’s shooting scene, Harrison said.

“Justin is such a nice guy and I don’t know him enough behind what he has done personally, but he’s always been very nice,” his neighbor, Ronda Vercammen, told WBAL. “He had a baby girl. A baby girl, and she just loved him.”

The Baltimore City Police Fraternal Order tweeted on Saturday that the union was collecting check or credit card donations for Holley and her family.

Baltimore Police Department education and training staff collect donations through Venmo for a Visa gift card to give to Holley and her family. Their communications director tweeted As of Sunday, $ 1,545 had been raised so far, already surpassing the target of reaching $ 1,000 by Monday.

“The person who did this to my sister, you’re a coward,” Lawanda Sykes, Officer Holley’s older sister, said at a press conference Thursday. “You tried to suffocate her and take something you can’t. She’s stronger than you ever will be.”


“Keona Holley is my little sister. What I need this town to know and understand is that before she’s a police officer, she’s a mother. She’s a girl. She’s a mother. is a sister. She is a woman, “continued the officer’s sister. “She took on this job, she took on this responsibility. It has been my sister’s long-standing goal to serve in the Baltimore City Police Department. My sister dedicated herself to this job. She came in early. . She stayed later. She spent countless hours away from her children to serve the Southern District community. ”

Calling on anyone with information to come forward, Sykes denounced “Baltimore, we are killing each other” and described how her own children cannot play outside safely. Agent Holley is the mother of two daughters, who stood next to their aunt.

“My sister is fighting for her life,” Sykes said Thursday. “I ask that you keep her covered. That you pray for her. That you pray for us. Understand that my sister, she is the ying of my yang. Everything I have ever known. She is the other part of me. And I refuse to give it up. “

Speaking at a second press conference on Friday, the Police Commissioner explained how the Baltimore Police Regional Auto Theft Task Force on Thursday located investigators into vehicle homicides identified as being linked to the shooting of Agent Holley. It was found across a large area of ​​canvas and many video footage that has been recovered.

A person of interest was also identified, located and transported to the homicide section for an interview. Investigators have learned the identity of a second suspect who has been taken into custody.

As investigators processed the scene of Constable Holley’s shooting, another gunshot homicide occurred in Block 600 of Lucia Avenue, he said.

A Baltimore Police Officer is stationed near the intersection of W. North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore, MD on Friday, April 17, 2020.

A Baltimore Police Officer is stationed near the intersection of W. North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore, MD on Friday, April 17, 2020.
(Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“What we know now is that the two shootings are linked, as we now know that the perpetrators of the shooting from Office Holley, they then left that scene, went to Lucia Avenue and then committed the ‘homicide of Judge Johnson,’ Harrison said. “Our thoughts and prayers with his family, to whom we also spoke.”

Two weapons were recovered and were allegedly used in both incidents, he said.

“This week’s heinous incidents were another tragic reminder of the culture of violence that permeates Baltimore,” Harrison said Friday. “As I said last night, those who commit these violent, brazen and cowardly acts in our city will have to answer for their actions.

Harrison thanked local, state and federal partners who assisted in the investigation and said he received a call from US Attorney General Merrick Garland, who “commits all available resources to help us” and commended the team for the fast closing of the case.


“At this moment, I cannot overstate how angry and disheartened we are all that we continue to have members of our community who intend to commit acts of violence, especially against law enforcement, “Baltimore City Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said on Friday. “This is unacceptable and we will not tolerate it… We will have zero tolerance for those who seek to use violence and murder to settle their grievances and the criminals who do so will be prosecuted with the full force of the law.”

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