Police Officer Celena Hollis Denver Police Department, Colorado End of Watch: Sunday, June 24, 2012

Police Officer Celena Hollis | Denver Police Department, ColoradoDenver Police Department, Colorado

Police Officer Celena Hollis

Denver Police Department, Colorado
End of Watch: Sunday, June 24, 2012

Biographical Info

Age: 32
Tour of Duty: 7 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: June 24, 2012
Weapon Used: Handgun
Suspect Info: Not available

Agency Contact Information

Chief Robert White
Denver Police Department
1331 Cherokee Street
Denver, CO 80204
Phone: (720) 913-2000

Police Officer Celena Hollis was shot and killed while attempting to breakup a fight at a jazz festival in Denver’s City Park shortly after 8:00 pm.
Two groups of people had begun to fight and Officer Hollis intervened, attempting to stop the fight. One of the subjects involved in the fight opened fire with a handgun, striking Officer Hollis in the head. She was transported to a local hospital where she succumbed to her wounds.
One subject was taken into custody at the scene.
Officer Hollis had served with the Denver Police Department for seven years and acted as the president of the Denver Black Police Officers Association. She is survived by her daughter.

Sources within the Denver Police Department confirm the woman shot Sunday night at the City Park Jazz concert was District 2 Officer Celena Hollis.

Hollis was shot in the head while breaking up a fight just as music ended, around 8 p.m.

A man booked into custody early this morning appears in court later today to be advised of the first-degree murder charges against him, though police will not say whether he is the shooter.

Police have promised more details at a news conference.

Mayor Michael Hancock has asked Denver residents for their prayers and lauded the woman as a single mother and a tremendous leader.

Hollis, 32, was the president of the Denver Black Police Officer’s Association.

"She was easy to get along with and always had a smile on her face and happy to approach each day," said Lt. Ron Thomas, a board member of the association

Owetta McNeil heard the shots and saw two officers run past her. She said she knew the officer who was shot.

"It was sad that there was such a beautiful event just to have it end that way," McNeil said. "And especially to know it was a female officer just doing her job. She was as nice as can be."

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old man appears for a first advisement in Denver court this morning on a charge of first-degree murder after deliberation.

Police will not say whether the man charged, Rollin Oliver, is suspected in the officer’s death.

County jail records indicate he was booked early today. Police Chief Robert White said Sunday that officers had taken into custody one man found with a gun.

Oliver has no criminal history in Colorado, according to a search of Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.

Witnesses at the park, who were reluctant to give their names with the shooter still at large, reported hearing three to five gunshots.

"We’re used to shootings; we grew up in the hood, but we’re angry that an officer was hurt in this shooting," said a woman whose sister works at a Colorado correctional facility. "That’s the sad part."




A female police officer was shot and killed Sunday night during Denver’s popular City Park Jazz scene, sending hundreds of people fleeing as shots were fired.

The officer was shot in the head while breaking up a fight just as the music ended. She was taken to a hospital, where she was declared dead.

As many as 30 police cars were reported on the scene near the boat house. Multiple people were questioned, and dozens of officers continued to scour the area, including the nearby Denver Zoo.

At a late-night news conference, Mayor Michael Hancock asked for residents of Denver to give the Police Department their prayers and said the city mourned the loss of a single mother and a tremendous leader.

Hancock said Denver was still "a safe city" and that he wouldn’t let a few people destroy summer events attended by thousands of people — including his wife and children.

"We will not surrender this city to anyone," he said.

Chief Robert White said one person, who possessed a gun, was in custody but that the person had not been confirmed as a suspect.

"We will know about that tomorrow," he said.

Sometime after 8 p.m., multiple shots were fired. The chaotic scene was one of confusion as fleeing people shouted, "They’re shooting over there."

Crowds seated southwest of the pavilion reacted slowly at first, but as people began rushing by from the other end of the park, chaos erupted. Many people tripped, and lawn chairs and blankets were abandoned.

The slain officer was originally from Detroit and was a seven-year veteran of the police force.

Sunday night’s concert was a tribute to Charlie Burrell, a jazz bassist who also plays with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. The concert also featured Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine.

Witnesses to the shooting are asked to contact Denver police at 720-913-STOP.


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