BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- As word spread Thursday of a Baltimore police officer's shooting, so too did reactions from the community and its leadership, who expressed outrage and offered condolences to the officer's family.
The officer was ambushed about 1:30 a.m. while sitting in her marked patrol car on Pennington Avenue in Curtis Bay, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said. Shot multiple times, the officer was taken to Shock Trauma in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.
The officer was identified at Keona Holley, a two-year veteran of the department. The mother of two girls remains on life support Thursday afternoon.
Rasik Patel, a store owner in the area, said he saw the officer just hours before the shooting.
"She's a nice officer you know, oh my God," he said. "She was here at 6:30 last night, and she's asking me 'how you doing pa' and I said 'I'm alright.' I was real shocked."
The brazen violence has residents worried about their own safety.
"If they're going to do that to a police officer what are they going to do to a regular civilian? It's scary out here man," one resident told WJZ.
Mayor Brandon Scott released a statement in the wake of the shooting, saying his prayers are with the officer's family. He challenged anyone with information about the shooter to come forward.
"My heartfelt prayers go out to the officer's family and fellow officers who selflessly risk their lives to safeguard our neighborhoods and build a better Baltimore. Whoever committed this heinous act is a coward who must be brought to justice for our officer, the officer's family, and our city," Scott said.
City Councilman Mark Conway, who chairs the public safety committee, echoed the mayor's remarks.
"I am outraged this morning on behalf of this officer, their loved ones, and their colleagues," Conway said. "To ambush an officer from behind while they sit in their vehicle is the definition of a cowardly act, and whoever was behind this must be brought to justice. I am keeping the officer and their family in my thoughts and encourage the people of Baltimore to do the same."
In a statement, Gov. Larry Hogan condemned the "despicable" shooting and pledged the full support of the Maryland State Police to efforts to find the person responsible.
"I ask all Marylanders to keep the officer in your prayers," the governor said in part.
City Councilman Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer said he is "praying for this officer to make a full recovery."
Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Council President Nick Mosby voiced his anger about the shooting and asked the community to pray for the officer.
"We all stand here extremely angered," Mosby said. "Angered for the police officer that was involved in this cowardly act, angered for the men and women who stand next to her every single day to risk their lives to keep our city safe and good for her family. ... I ask the citizens of Baltimore, if you do not have information, to just pray. Pray for this officer, pray for this officer's family."
Former Prince George's County executive and gubernatorial hopeful Rushern Baker said his thoughts are with the officer's family and colleagues:
"Sending heartfelt prayers to the Baltimore City police officer who was ambushed and shot while on-duty this morning. I am keeping her family and fellow officers in my thoughts. We have to adequately support our women and men in the line of duty every day, not just when there's a tragic event like this. We must address the massive officer shortage across MD that's leaving many of our officers stretched so thin that they are constantly doing overnight and overtime shifts, and do not have the capacity to effectively engage with the community or spend ample time solving cases."
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