West Virginia deputy sheriff fatally shot, 1 suspect killed

Jun 4, 2022, 8:52 AM | Updated: 12:34 pm

BIRCH RIVER, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia sheriff’s deputy was killed, another was injured and a surviving suspect has been charged with murder after a shootout at a residence.

The Nicholas County deputy sheriff, Tom Baker, was killed Friday night while responding to a domestic disturbance in the Birch River area around 5 p.m., Sheriff William Nunley said Saturday. Baker was struck in the back by a bullet.

The area is about an hour east of the state capitol, Charleston.

Police arrived at a camper and made contact with two men who came and talked with the deputies, “but at some point the suspects became agitated” and ran back inside, Nunley said in a media release.

The deputies pursued them and discharged a taser. The two men began firing at police and officers backed out of the camper, Nunley said.

Baker was shot and another deputy, Corporal J. Ellison, was hit in the leg. Ellison was treated and released from a hospital.

One of the two suspects, 36-year-old Ritchie Holcomb, was fatally shot. The other man, 28-year-old Brent Tyler Kelly, was taken into custody after a short standoff, Nunley said.

Kelly has been charged with first-degree murder, according to WCHS-TV.

West Virginia state police are investigating the incident.

Gov. Jim Justice announced the death of the deputy Friday night. Justice said in a social media post that “first responders are heroes. They run to the fire to keep us safe, and we should never forget their service.”

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West Virginia deputy sheriff fatally shot, 1 suspect killed