BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Hundreds of people came out Sunday to pay their respects to the Baltimore City police officer who was ambushed last month.
Officer Keona Holley was shot in an ambush-style attach on December 16 while she sat in her patrol car in Curtis Bay.
One week later, her family and medical staff made the difficult decision to remove her from life support.
“We became close friends so that’s why I came here, to say goodbye to my friend,” said Latanja Spence.
Spence, a teacher, first met Holley when her children were in her class. 15 years later, they had a lasting bond.
“She was strong willed. She was determined. She was kind hearted. She was independent. Whatever she set her mind to do she accomplished it. She loved her children with everything in her and she made any sacrifice she had to to make sure her kids were okay.,” said Spence. “When her daughter had he gender reveal, I was there. Like everything that happened in Keona’s life, she made me a part of it and I’m gonna miss her so so much.”
She was one of many who came to the first of two viewings Sunday.
“It’s definitely a big loss, not only to the community but to her family. She was the glue that held everybody together,” said Tenisha Stratton.
“It was only right for fellow brothers in blue to come pay my respects,” said Loren Biddle, a police officer.
“I’m just so so so sorry for her family and for our city. Our city is in crisis and we need officers like officer Holley to continue to try to make us a better place to live,” said Dorisell Thomas.
While the men who police believe murdered her have been charged, no amount of justice could fill the hole she left in the hearts of those who knew her and they hope her legacy continues.
“I will say her reason for joining the police department was to make a difference and she has made a big difference and I know there are still more differences to come,” said Amy Owoeye.
Monday’s viewing is from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Wylie Funeral Home off N. Mount Street and her funeral is Tuesday at the Baltimore Convention Center.