Fallen Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley’s family shared an emotional message on Christmas Eve after removing Holley from life support on Thursday following a fatal shooting that left her in critical condition.
Authorities arrested two suspects, including 31-year-old Elliot Knox and 32-year-old Travon Shaw were on Dec. 17 in connection to the Dec. 16 shooting that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan described as an “ambush-style” attack.
“Something has to be done about it,” said Holley’s sister, Lawanda Skyes, of Baltimore’s violent crime in an interview with FOX 45 Baltimore. “Whether it comes from our politicians or police department, whatever, no matter what. But, the message has to go to the person who’s picking up the gun.”
She added that “everybody does not have or was given the love that my sister had, and maybe that was missing from them.”
“The only hope that I can find is as that they find forgiveness in God,” she said.
Holley’s mother, Karen Eaddy, wished “everyone” a Merry Christmas, saying that the holiday is “still merry” to her because she has her grandchildren. Holley, 39, was a mother of four, including a 10-year-old son, according to FOX 45.
“I may not have my child but I have my grandkids,” she told the outlet. “So, I have to lift myself up and lift them up to have Christmas without their mom.”
Holley was on duty during the early morning of Dec. 16 when the suspects walked up to the rear or alongside the vehicle and began firing inside in a “cowardly, brazen act,” striking the 39-year-old in the head, according to Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Authorities believe she accelerated from a rested position and crashed after being shot.
Knox and Shaw have been charged in connection with Holley’s shooting, as well the Dec. 16 shooting death of 38-year-old Justin Johnson. The suspects fatally shot Johnson about 10 miles away from where Holley was ambushed, two hours after shooting the officer.
“Our prayers are with Officer Holley’s family and loved ones, co-workers and the entire community,” Harrison said in a Thursday statement after Holley was removed from life support at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “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.”
Mayor Brandon Scott said in a Thursday statement that “Baltimore will never forget Officer Holley’s sacrifice and commitment to making a difference in her beloved city.”
The Signal 13 Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to Baltimore City Police personnel experiencing hardship, is accepting donations to support Holley’s family. The nonprofit had raised $36,000 as of Christmas Eve, according to WBAL-TV.
“The volume is nothing that Signal13 has seen before,” Signal 13 Foundation CEO Nancy Hinds told the outlet. “…All donations that are made to us, we are the conduit and we will make sure that they get to the family.”
Baltimore, a city of about 583,000, has recorded a total of 331 homicides and 710 shootings so far this year, according to police data.