Officer Keona Holley was sitting in her patrol car around 1:30 a.m. when the assailant “apparently walked up somewhere from the rear of the [police] vehicle or alongside the vehicle and began firing into the vehicle striking our officer,” Harrison said.
The officer then accelerated the patrol vehicle and crashed, officials said.
Holley, a two-year veteran of the department, was “doing what she was supposed to do” while working a midnight patrol shift, Harrison said.
Dr. Thomas Scalea with Baltimore’s Shock Trauma Center said Holley has multiple gunshot wounds and is “critically ill with life-threatening injuries, on full life support.” Holley has undergone surgery, Scalea said.
Holley’s sister, Lawanda Sykes, said during a press conference her sibling’s lifelong goal was to become a police officer.
“What I need this city to know, is understand, that before she was a police officer, she’s a mother, she’s a daughter, she’s a sister and she’s a woman,” Sykes said. “The person who did this to my sister, you are a coward … She is stronger than you will ever be and the force behind her is stronger than you’ll ever be.”
A vehicle of interest was located and is now in police hands, according to Harrison, and interviews are being conducted with several people as well. He commended community members for providing information to help in the investigation.
A reward totaling $ 118,000 is being offered for information that could lead to the arrest of the shooter. The Baltimore Police Department announced it was offering a $ 59,000 reward, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said later the state will match the city’s reward.
“We have offered the full resources of the Maryland State Police to assist in the investigation,” Hogan said in a statement.
“This was a cowardly, brazen act to walk up and open fire on a police officer who was doing what we asked that officer to do — to go out to protect and serve,” Harrison said.
Mayor Brandon Scott called the shooter a coward.
“I have no doubt that our detectives will find those responsible, but we need anyone who has information to come forward and share it with us now. No family should be dealing with this pain, especially during the holidays,” Scott said.