Man sentenced to life in prison without parole after ambushing police officer in Baltimore

A Baltimore man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for ambushing a police officer in 2021. The officer was killed while sitting in her marked patrol car during a night shift.

BALTIMORE – A man convicted earlier this year of killing a Baltimore police officer and another victim was sentenced Tuesday to two life terms without parole.

The fatal 2021 shootings occurred just hours apart in different Baltimore neighborhoods. Prosecutors were never able to establish a possible motive in the case, but the evidence they presented was enough to convince jurors to convict 34-year-old Elliot Knox after a multi-day trial in March.

At a hearing on Tuesday morning, Knox received the maximum sentence.

Baltimore City Attorney Ivan Bates said in a statement that the ruling “sends a clear message that the violent acts that have plagued our communities will not be tolerated. Particularly acts intended to harm or defame the women and men who honorably serve our city.”

Knox's attorney was not immediately available for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Baltimore police officer Keona Holley was sitting in her marked patrol car during a night shift when she was ambushed and shot. Hours later, Justin Johnson was shot in a similar manner while sitting in a parked car.

Police arrested Knox after identifying him as the owner of a vehicle seen on surveillance video leaving both crime scenes. He subsequently gave a statement to investigators in which he admitted some involvement but identified another man as the shooter: Travon Shaw, who would become Knox's co-defendant.

Shaw, who is also serving a life sentence without parole, was convicted last year of murder and other charges for his role in Johnson's killing. He later pleaded guilty to Holley's murder as well.

Johnson's partner testified that he was a close friend of Shaw, but police could not establish any connection between Knox and the victims.

Holley joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2019 at the age of 37. The mother and former nursing assistant was, according to her family, a truly “good cop” who wanted to give back to her community.