UPDATE (June 4, 2022, at 10:51 a.m.): 13 News has learned the identity of the deputy killed in the line of duty on Friday night.

The Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department posted on Facebook that Deputy Tom Baker was shot in the back and killed.

They said that Deputy Baker and Cpl. J. Ellison responded to a domestic disturbance in the Birch River area around 5:00 p.m. on Friday. They say that when the two arrived, they made contact with Ritchie Holcomb and Tyler Kelly and that at some point, the two suspects became agitated and ran back into a camper.

The Sheriff’s Department says deputies pursued them and discharged a taser before the suspects began firing at the officers.

Deputy Tom Baker was struck in the back, and Cpl. J. Ellison was shot in the leg. Deputy Baker was killed, and Cpl. J. Ellison was treated and released.

One of the suspects, Ritchie Holcomb was also killed.

Tyler Kelly was taken into custody. He is being held without bond at the Central Regional Jail in Flatwoods.

The Richwood Fire Department posted on Facebook to express their condolences for the loss of Nicholas County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Baker.

To say that we are devastated is an understatement.

Please keep the family of deputy Baker in your thoughts and prayers along with our brothers and sisters in law enforcement and our entire first responder family.

Deputy Baker was killed in the line of duty last night. Another deputy was injured in the incident as well. Please pray for his peace and comfort as he lost a brother last night.

Our community mourns, once again, as we’ve lost another that we love.

Thank you, friends & followers for your thoughts and prayers during this time of tragedy.

Facebook post from the Richwood Fire Department.
Photo Courtesy: Richwood Fire Department

UPDATE (June 3, 2022, at 10:55 p.m.): Chief Brad Rinehart with the South Charleston Police Department says one Nicholas County deputy is dead and one suspect is dead after a shootout in Birch River.

According to Rinehart, the other officer and suspect involved are at WVU Summersville Hospital. The hospitalized officer was shot in the leg, Rinehart says. No one will be transported to CAMC General Hospital in Charleston.

State Senator Stephen Baldwin (D-Greenbrier) and former State Senator Greg Boso both posted on Facebook about the shooting.

“Please keep Nicholas County in your prayers tonight as a deadly active shooter incident unfolded. Details will be made available soon by local authorities. I’ve been in touch with local officials to pledge support. For now, the scene is secure, surrounding counties and the state are sending all requested resources/assistance, and several law enforcement families need our support right now. Let’s surround them in love. Many thanks to all the local, regional, & state authorities for responding so quickly to assist in time of need.”

Senator Stephen Baldwin (D-Greenbrier)

“Tonight we mourn for a fallen law enforcement officer lost in the line of duty, a good friend. Please join me as we pray, too, for another wounded #LEO. Please pray for their families, immediate and extended. These men and women who enforce the law are too often taken for granted but serve to afford us a level of safety and protection in the communities we live in. Tonight I lost a Brother in Christ and a brother in service. The family of first responders in Nicholas County hurts tonight. ThinBlueLine #LODD #FirstResponders”

Former State Senator Gregory Boso

A WOWK 13 News team is near the scene speaking to law enforcement officials. A reporter will be live during the 11 p.m. broadcast.

(WOWK 13 News file/Michael Magee)

UPDATE (June 3, 2022, at 9:19 p.m.): There is no longer an active scene in Birch River.

Sources say the two suspects are no longer a threat.

Sources say the two officers shot are Nicholas County deputies. They are currently being evaluated at WVU Summersville Regional Medical Center.

There is a highly active police presence at CAMC General Hospital in Charleston. It is a trauma hospital, and victims are often flown there if their condition worsens.


BIRCH RIVER, WV (WOWK) — 13 News has confirmed that two officers have been shot in Nicholas County.

Sources tell us there is an active shootout in the Birch River area between officers and some people in a camper.

They say there is an active shootout, and they are advising people to avoid U.S. Route 19 in the Birch River area.

13 News has a crew on its way to the scene, and we will provide updates as new information becomes available.