Patrolman Holbert died from complication of a gunshot wound sustained 15 years earlier. Patrolman Holbert and another officer were attempting to arrest an intoxicated man in connection with an accident when the man produced a handgun and opened fire on the officers. Although both officers were wounded, they returned fire and killed the suspect.
Patrolman Holbert was struck in the head by one of the rounds. The wound caused him to undergo four operations in which parts of his brain were removed as a result of bullet fragments. He died of complications from a combination of the initial wounds and the ongoing operations.
Patrolman Holbert had served with the Cleveland Police Department for 19 years. He was survived by his wife and eight children.