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'I pray that she wakes up.' Vigil held for Officer Keona Holley

Prayer vigil for Keona Holley
Posted at 9:56 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 23:30:29-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — On Wednesday Curtis Bay residents called Baltimore City police officer Keona Holley the “best officer ever” at a prayer vigil.

It was held close to where first responders found her shot near Pennington Avenue.

Shante Wells said Officer Holley was someone who would sing, dance, and talk with young people, adding she was someone who wasn’t afraid to speak up.

"She was the best officer ever," said Shante Wells, a Curtis Bay resident.

She is described as the police officer who is a “Mom from the West Side." That mother, who's dream it was to become a police officer, remains is on life support after being shot last week.

At Wednesday's vigil people shared their stories and interactions with the officer. It was clear she made impression on residents and fellow police officers alike. They're asking for a miracle.

“We pray for the miracle that she wakes up,” said Wells. “We pray that we can see her smiling face again. I pray that this community comes together as one, together after this. I pray that Officer Holley wakes up.”

As WMAR 2 News has reported, Officer Keona Holley was shot multiple times early in the morning of Dec. 16 in the 4400 block of Pennington Ave., while working an overtime shift in Curtis Bay.

Police have arrested and charged Elliot Knox and Trevon Shaw in connection with her shooting, along with fatal shooting of Justin Johnson.

Justin Johnson was laid to rest Wednesday at a private funeral service, according to family.

Lt. Col. Martin Bartness, deputy chief of the patrol division, said Wednesday that Holley stood out to him from the hundreds of police recruits who came through the academy during his time as commander of education and training.

“It speaks to how special she is,” said Bartness. “The ‘Mom from the West Side’ chose, at this stage of her life, to be a citizen-servant for Curtis Bay and for all of Baltimore. Let’s keep our hopes alive for a miracle for Officer Holley.”

Sharon Cottrell, who helped organize Wednesday’s gathering said Holley always showed love to the community and would often check on Cottrell's autistic son.

“That’s how much she loved kids,” Cottrell said. “She loved us. Keep praying for her."