‘He Was A Great Kid’
Family Remembers City Man Following Tragic Death
Brandon J. Holland was a big kid at heart.
At a young age, he took up playing Pokemon and Dungeon and Dragons, hobbies that stuck with him into his early 20s. He was known for playing Pokemon Go, an augmented reality mobile game, while walking in Baker Park as well as the love for his dachshund, Loki.
“He would just go to the park and play that game,” said Holland’s uncle, Wilam Wisner. “He was a great kid and just had a big heart. He wouldn’t hurt anyone and would do just about anything for anyone.”
Holland was remembered by his family a day after he was killed while walking along North Main Street in Jamestown.
According to the Jamestown Police Department, the 23-year-old city resident was stabbed in the chest around 10:15 p.m. on Monday; he was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua where he was pronounced dead.
Debora King, Holland’s mother, struggled to find words shortly after her son’s death.
“I don’t know what to say,” King said. “There’s nothing you can say that will bring him back. You would think it would be OK to just go out for a walk. You would think that this is a safe place.”
Just hours after Holland’s death, Jamestown police announced the arrest of Carl W. Sorenson on a charge of second-degree murder.
Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown Police Department said public safety cameras, most notably at North Main and East Sixth streets, helped investigators pinpoint a potential suspect. Samuelson said additional review of surveillance footage from nearby businesses, as well as with information from witnesses, helped eventually identify Sorenson, a 28-year-old Washington Street resident.
“Investigators worked throughout the night and early (Tuesday) morning on this to come to a quick arrest,” Samuelson said of Sorenson’s apprehension at his apartment in the early afternoon. “Investigators did locate video from area businesses as well as traffic cams along Main Street to assist in this case.”
“We spoke with the family, and our thoughts and prayer go out to them,” he continued.
Police believe the incident was targeted and not a random act of violence; a prior incident may have precipitated the stabbing.
Samuelson noted the quick work by investigators. “Things just fell into place and with a little bit of luck,” he said. “We were able to connect some dots quickly, and we had some eye witnesses that came forward. … These public safety cameras have proven very, very useful.”
Sorenson, on parole for a previous third-degree burglary charge, was being held pending arraignment in Jamestown City Court. Samuelson said the investigation remains ongoing and noted that additional charges are pending.
The Jamestown Police Department was assisted in its investigation by the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office.