NICHOLAS COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The man arrested in connection to the shootout that killed a Nicholas County deputy Friday night has been charged with first-degree murder.
Brent Tyler Kelly, 28, was arrested Friday, June 3, 2022, following the shootout that happened shortly after 7:30 p.m. that evening. Deputy Thomas Baker and suspect Richie Holcomb were both killed in the incident, and Cpl. J. Ellison received an injury to his leg.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Nicholas County Magistrate Court, the incident began when Nicholas County 911 dispatchers received a call regarding alleged destruction of property on Holcomb Street in Birch River. The complaint states deputies were advised the two suspects, Kelly and Richie Holcomb were allegedly “held up in a camper with a possible 9mm AR-15.”
Four deputies, including Baker, responded to the location of the camper on Fire House Road in Birch River. One of the deputies contacted dispatchers around 7:05 p.m. stating two men were inside the camper and talking with authorities and that authorities were waiting on Ellison and his K-9 to arrive at the scene, the complaint says.
Deputies say during that time, the men allegedly became “non-cooperative and barricaded themselves within the camper.
According to the 911 log, shots fired from within the camper were first reported around 7:35 p.m. The log states the first report of an officer hit came in at 7:40 p.m., and that by 7:42 p.m., a second officer had been hit. The log states an officer was reportedly pinned down at 7:45 p.m.
The complaint states that Kelly was taken into custody around 8:26 p.m. The camper was then cleared for officers’ safety. Authorities say they then found Holcomb dead near the rear of the RV and allegedly in possession of a semi automatic assault-style rifle.