Eric Douglas Published

Nicholas County Deputy Killed In Line Of Duty Shooting

Crime Tape

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Updated on June 4, 2022 at 11:35 a.m.

Nicholas County Sheriff William F. Nunley released the following statement:

On June 3, 2022, Nicholas County Sheriff Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance in the Birch River area around 5pm. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with Ritchie Holcomb (DOB 12/77/85) and Tyler Kelly (DOB 04/25/94) located in a camper. The two came out of the camper talking with deputies, at some point the suspects became agitated running back into the camper.

Deputies pursued them into the camper discharging a taser. The suspects then began firing at officers, officers backed out of the camper where shots fired continued.
Deputy Tom Baker was struck in the back, while Cpl. J. Ellison was struck in the leg. Baker passed due to his injuries. Ellison was treated for the gunshot wound and released. Holcomb passed due to his injuries, Kelly was taken into custody after a short standoff and physical altercation.

The West Virginia State Police is currently working the investigation regarding the shot officers.

A Nicholas County Sheriff’s Deputy was killed and another injured in an officer involved shooting Friday evening in Birch River. One suspect was killed, according to the West Virginia State Police, and a second was wounded.

At 7:43 p.m., deputies responded to an active shooter call according to a post on the Wilderness Fire Departments web page. The two deputies initially went to the Birch River home to serve a warrant when two suspects inside opened fire, according to media reports.

Brent Tyler Kelly, 28, has been charged with first-degree murder and is currently in Central Regional Jail under no bond. The name of the shooter who died has not been released.

The names of the deputies have not been officially released.

Gov. Jim Justice released a statement about the shooting.

“Cathy and I ask all West Virginians to keep Nicholas County in your prayers right now,” he said. “Tragically, a Nicholas County Deputy was shot and killed when responding to an incident earlier tonight. Another deputy is in critical condition. Both deputies were airlifted to the hospital.”

***Editor’s note: This story was updated to include a press release from the Nicholas County sheriff.