Baltimore police officer shot in head during ambush taken off life support

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A Baltimore police officer who was shot in an ambush-style attack last week has been removed from life support.

“It is with heavy hearts that Commissioner Michael Harrison and the Baltimore Police Department announce that Officer Keona Holley has been removed from life-support,” the police department said in a statement Thursday. “Her health has been deteriorating over the last couple of days and her family, in consultation with her doctors, has had to make the most difficult decision. “

A Baltimore police officer posts himself near the intersection of W. North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore, Md. 

A Baltimore police officer posts himself near the intersection of W. North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore, Md.  (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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Holley, a member of the force for two years, was shot in the head at 1:35 a.m. Dec. 16 while in her vehicle working an overnight shift in the high-crime area of Curtis Bay.

She leaves behind four children.

Investigators say the shooter approached from behind and fired into the parked vehicle, which then accelerated and crashed. Holley was rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center and ultimately placed on life support.

Two arrests had been announced by Friday. And the same two suspects charged with wounding the officer have been connected to a second shooting, the killing of 38-year-old Justin Johnson about 10 miles away from where Holley was ambushed. 

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Elliot Knox, 31, and Travon Shaw, 32, are both charged for the attempted murder of Officer Holley and for the murder of Johnson in the 600 block of Lucia Ave. Johnson was killed while investigators were still investigating the area where Holley was shot, Harrison said. 

Baltimore has recorded a total of 322 homicides so far this year, according to police data, and online statistics show that homicides were up 3% last month from the same time the previous year. 

Homicides, carjackings, aggravated assaults and bank robberies have all increased compared to the same time last year.

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“We’ve got to do better in this city,” Holley’s sister, Lawanda Sykes, said at a press conference last week. “Baltimore, we are killing ourselves. It should not be like this. At some point the city has to turn around … not just for my sister, for all the lost souls we’ve had this year. My sister is fighting for her life. We will continue to fight with her and for her.”

Those who wish to donate to Holley’s family can do so by visiting the Signal 13 Foundation website.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report

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