Boise officer hurt in shooting left classroom for police work

Boise Police Officer Kevin Holtry
Boise Police Officer Kevin Holtry Provided by the Boise Police Department

Boise Police Cpl. Kevin Holtry was shot multiple times Friday by Marco Romero as officers searched for Romero in a Boise Bench neighborhood.

Holtry, 49, joined Boise Police Department 17 years ago. He has been in the department’s special operations unit for the past 13 years. He also has worked as a detective, neighborhood contact officer and police dog handler.

In 2014, he received a life-saving award for pulling a citizen out of the Boise River.

Holtry’s family said they appreciate the community’s support and at this time are asking for privacy.

Holtry, who served in the U.S. Army for three years, worked for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office before becoming a Boise police officer.

He has a degree in English literature. But he “decided to trade in a comfortable life in the classroom for a life patrolling the streets,” he told a 2015 class of BPD’s citizen academy, according to a post about that class session on the department’s Facebook page.

“If anyone can make sense of that and explain it to me, I’d appreciate it,” Holtry joked at the time.

After trading a grade book for a badge, Holtry has remained a teacher, participating in the department’s citizen’s police academy and teaching self-defense classes in the community.

Cpl. Chris Davis was one of two officers wounded Nov. 11 during a police shootout with Marco Romero, wanted in connection with a shooting in Meridian earlier that week. A police dog, Jardo, was also injured. Cpl. Kevin Holtry remains hospitalized.

Holtry faces months of recovery from his injuries, Police Chief Bill Bones has said. A vigil to support him is planned for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial at Idaho State Police headquarters, 700 S. Stratford Drive in Meridian.

A GoFundMe set up by the Fraternal Order of Police has raised more than $50,000 for Holtry as of Tuesday morning. That group called Holtry “a humble leader, a mentor, a great man, a father and a friend to many.”

Donations can also be made to the Fraternal Order of Police, Treasure Valley Lodge #11 Benevolent Fund, at branches of Mountain West Bank. They can also be mailed to the group at P.O. Box 642, Meridian, ID 83680.

Romero, a suspect in a double shooting and a carjacking in Meridian, was hiding near Irving and Wilson streets when he shot Holtry, Cpl. Chris Davis and police dog Jardo. Police returned fire, killing Romero.

Davis, who was shot once in the leg, was released from the hospital Saturday. He spoke to reporters about his recovery outside Saint Alphonsus on Tuesday.

“It’s a day-by-day thing, but, I mean, it ... pales in comparison to Kevin,” he said. “So we’re always thinking about him and how he’s doing.”

Though Davis was not able to give many details about the incident, he recalled his worry as he realized Holtry had been hit.

“I saw Kevin get shot and I was, you know, worried about him, but at the same time, we’re in the middle of a gun battle and I was worried about the other homeowners that were there and ... there were innocent people around the block,” Davis said.

Jardo, a Belgian Malinois, was shot through the chest and lost a lung. He was treated and released Saturday from WestVet Veterinary Clinic.

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell