Boise police officer Cpl. Kevin Holtry will transfer from Saint Alphonsus in Boise to a specialty spinal cord injury rehabilitation hospital after being injured in a November shooting that wounded another officer and killed a police K-9, according to a video Holtry released Monday.
In the video, shown for the first time Monday afternoon at City Hall West, Holtry explained that he was paralyzed below the waist after being shot multiple times. He said his left leg was amputated above the knee and described his spinal cord as “maybe bruised.” He’ll be taken to Craig Hospital near Denver, a facility that specializes in rehabilitation, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Police will escort Holtry to the Boise Airport on Thursday, Jan. 5, and members of the public are encouraged to turn out and show their support along the escort route, said Boise Police Department Deputy Chief Eugene Smith at a press conference Monday. Smith said more details on that will be available before Thursday, though he expected transportation between 8 a.m. and noon.
Smith declined to comment on whether Holtry might eventually rejoin BPD in a working capacity.
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“We’re not going to make any sort of decisions, discussions, any sort of conversation about his future, other than Kevin Holtry is a Boise police officer, will be a Boise police officer, and we intend to keep him as a Boise police officer as long as he desires,” Smith said.
Smith said most Boise officers haven’t seen or heard from Holtry, who’s been with the department 17 years, since he was injured.
According to Smith, Holtry is “pumped” about the opportunity to recover at Craig Hospital, which is among the best in the world for its specialty.
“He wants to go and get started on a full recovery, whatever that is in the end,” Smith said.
Holtry in his video explained that he had to interview with Craig Hospital staff before being accepted to the program, and Smith described the rehabilitation process as something of a full-time job, in which patients spend many hours each day on recovery.
The Monday press conference was the first major update on Holtry’s condition since the Nov. 11 officer-involved shooting in which the suspect, Marco Romero, was killed. Also injured was Cpl. Chris Davis, who is back on duty in full capacity. Police K-9 Jardo died several days after the incident.
“(Our Boise SWAT team) had been tasked with trying to find a really dangerous man,” Holtry said in the video. “We had him locked down in a one-block area. We knew he was bad. We knew he was armed. We were looking for him and we found him.
“I happened to be the person that did on that particular day, and I was shot multiple times,” he said. According to Holtry, his spinal cord was not completely severed. He said he has “strong faith” that he can get sensation back in his legs. Due to infection and other medical issues, he said, his left leg was amputated above the knee.
He expressed gratitude for an outpouring of support, not only in the Treasure Valley but from as far away as the East Coast.
“As a result of the injury, I’ve been in this little bubble, and I’ve been isolated. And I didn’t realize what the citizens and this community have done, and their willingness to donate everything and help out,” Holtry said, adding that tens of thousands of cards have arrived at the department. He called it “a tsunami of love and prayers and well-wishes from people I don’t even know.”
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said, thanking his fellow officers, paramedics and employees at Saint Al’s.
Over $75,000 has been raised in a GoFundMe campaign for the officer; Smith said the Fraternal Order of Police, a nonprofit that raises funds to assist injured and fallen officers, will handle that money. Smith also said he’s expecting “a large fundraiser down the road” to benefit Holtry.
Smith declined to comment on when an investigation into the shooting may be complete. The Garden City Police Department is overseeing the investigation.