Deputy’s death brings back memories for local family

Koontz’s family is working to finalize the funeral arrangements. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The passing of Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz is bringing back memories for an Indianapolis family.

Jerry Baker said his son Jason died in the line of duty in 2001. He was shot and killed during a chase 15 years ago in September.

Baker visited his son at the Crown Hill Cemetery late Monday afternoon. He was a deputy for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

“There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of Jason and I always wonder you know,” said Baker. “I would’ve loved to seen what kind of officer, what kind of man he would’ve become.”

Baker said the journey without his son has not been easy. His heart is now breaking after learning about the passing of Deputy Carl Koontz.

“As I tell new grieving parents and spouses and siblings that you never get over, you work and you get past it,” said Baker.

“But an event that happened Sunday, you know, with Deputy Koontz, it brings it all back again and you can remember the phone calls and the events that happened and just the stress and the grief that you’re going through”, said Baker.

Baker said he’s thinking about the fallen deputy’s family, his wife, and baby during this difficult time.

“I would like the family to know that, you know, there are others that have gone through this and we’re there for them whenever they want,” said Baker. “We’ll do whatever we can.”

Koontz’s family is working to finalize the funeral arrangements.

Members from the Indiana Sheriff’s Association Memorial Team said they received a phone call Sunday about the deputy’s passing.

“The thought process that we go through is well, we have to start taking care of the family,” said Lt. Bill Woollen, Marion County Sheriff’s Office. “We have to start taking care of our hero who has fallen.”

Woollen said the statewide memorial team launched about two years ago under Sheriff John Layton and Stephan Luce.

The team is now working to give Deputy Carl Koontz the highest honor for making the ultimate sacrifice.

“We met this morning in Howard County at nine just to prepare and lay the ground work for what we’re going to do this following week procedural thing,” said Woollen.

Lt. Woollen said the team will start training for the ceremony sometime this week. The group will prepare for the casket stand, firing party, and fold team.

“We all come together no matter what color uniform we have, no matter where we are in the state,” said Lt. Woollen. “We’re the same people doing the same job in different parts of the state and across the United States.”

He added, “We all come together. We have one focus is that to honor that one fallen hero and to make sure that family gets through this time.”

Woollen said 50 people from different law enforcement agencies will help with the ceremony. 10 will come from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

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