The recent edition of Homicide Hunter, on the ID (Investigative Discovery Channel), featured the story on Teller County (Colorado) Deputy Brent Holloway, a 1987 Cardington-Lincoln High School graduate, who was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 16, 1995.
The program followed the investigation and capture of the suspect.
Brent and Kelly Kirkpatrick were high school sweethearts at Cardington, members of the Class of 1987. Following graduation, she earned her nursing degree and the two married in August, 1989. Brent, an amateur artist who loved painting mountains, had often expressed a desire to work in law enforcement.
They drove to Colorado on vacation in 1990 and “we both fell for the mountains,” Kelly said. In 1991 the couple settled in Divide, Colorado, a small town in Teller County.
Kelly soon had a nursing job and Brent entered the police academy, Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy in Trinidad, Co. Later, he volunteered as a reserve officer for the Teller County Sheriff’s Department, later hired as a jailer for the for the Teller jail for one year, became a reserve officer, and worked on the road before becoming a full-time deputy in 1994.
On the night of Oct. 15, 1995, an arsonist had set fire to a large home in Teller County, seeking revenge and blaming police for his troubles which included being in and out of jail.
He had written that he was going to kill many cops, but he had not planned on the firemen coming. He did not want to kill them so he waited. After the fire was under control and all officers and firemen left the scene, Deputy Holloway was left to guard the site and await arson investigators.
The suspect sneaked up to Officer Holloway’s car and shot him in the back of the head, then stole the deputy’s service weapon. Officers called hourly to check on Holloway, but when they called at 6 a.m. there was no response.
His best friend and co-worker found him shot to death. The site of the killing was reached at the end of eight miles of dirt road.
“I had just arrived home from my night shift and saw the deputies’ cars in the drive. I knew something was wrong,” said Kelly, who was flown to Colorado by the show’s producers and appeared in the program.
The suspect, leaving a 14-page note, later committed suicide using the deputy’s service weapon, as officers surrounded the cabin where he had hidden.
The service for Holloway was led by eight miles of law enforcement officers’ cars, said Kelly. The television program included scenes from the service. Survivors included his wife, mother, two brothers and a sister.
The Teller County Sheriff’s office held a short memorial service at the site of Holloway’s memorial on Oct. 16, 2017, the 22nd anniversary of his death.
Kelly and her husband, Paul Lopez, reside in Mount Gilead.