Fallen deputy returns to Howard County

A procession of law enforcement vehicles ushered the body of Deputy Carl Koontz to Howard County Monday, March 21, 2016. (WISH Photo)

HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — Hundreds of emergency responders and grateful citizens lined the streets as the body of Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz was transported from downtown Indianapolis to Kokomo Monday afternoon.

Koontz, 27, was killed in a shootout while serving a warrant early Sunday morning. He leaves behind a wife, Cassie, and young son, Noah.

Police departments from all over Indiana are volunteering to help the Howard County Sheriff’s Office as it mourns the loss of Koontz.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office said Koontz died from a single gunshot wound to the pelvis. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

In a press conference on Monday morning, Howard County Sheriff Steve Rodgers identified 25-year-old Evan Dorsey as the suspect. Dorsey had an outstanding warrant in Clinton County when the shooting happened Sunday.

Flowers have been placed on Deputy Carl Koontz car at the Howard County Criminal Justice Center. (WISH Photo)

Indiana State Police said Monday Dorsey shot and killed himself. The Howard County Coroner’s Office says the preliminary autopsy report for Dorsey revealed a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

According to jail records, Dorsey had three different arrests for him. The last time police made contact with him was in December for a violation of probation for possession of a controlled substance. A warrant was issued and he was arrested on Dec. 30.

Howard County Sheriff Office Sgt. Jordan Buckley, who was shot in the exchange was in good condition. Sheriff Rodgers said “we will be happy to have him home.”

Late Monday afternoon, Buckley was released from the hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery. ISP said he was expected to participate in Monday afternoon’s procession.

Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz, right, is seen with his wife, Cassie Koontz and his son, Noah Alendale Koontz. (Provided Photo/ISP)
Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz, right, is seen with his wife, Cassie Koontz and his son, Noah Alendale Koontz. (Provided Photo/ISP)

Officers from outside the department will be patrolling Howard County over the next few days, as the sheriff’s office grieves. Counselors will also be on hand for employees at the Howard County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Koontz’ patrol vehicle was sitting outside the sheriff’s office as a memorial on Monday. Community members left flowers, candles and stuffed animals on his vehicle.

By request of Koontz’ wife, Cassie Koontz, a moment of silence was held at Monday.

Funeral details have not been announced.

RESIDENTS REMEMBER KOONTZ

Chance Urbina will never forget the day he met Koontz.

The chance encounter happened after a drunk driver struck Urbina’s vehicle. Koontz was the first to arrive to the scene that day.

“He was the guy that was there the whole time,” said Urbina. “He made sure I was safe and he followed me all the way to Fort Wayne.”

On Monday, Urbina returned the favor. He showed up to Koontz’s squad car draped in flowers outside the Howard County Sheriffs Department. He gazed at it for several minutes before speaking with 24-Hour News 8.

He said he just wanted to show his appreciation for the married father of one.

Later, a crowd stood in the same place for a moment of silence. When the moment came to an end, Koontz’ widow said thank you, and the family was quickly whisked away.

Just a few miles away a crowd waited for hours for Koontz’s procession to arrive from Indianapolis to Kokomo. Residents lined the streets in front of Stout and Son Funeral Home on 1300 block of West Lincoln Road.

A big pair of sunglasses shaded Marieellana McCoy’s eyes as she talked about Deputy Koontz.

“You wonder why God takes the good ones. I felt really, really bad, so I kept it (news coverage) on all night watching it, switching from the channels to see what’s going on,” McCoy said.

Loren Dunn never met Koontz, but when he heard about the deadly shooting he and his wife were determined to be at the procession for one reason: “To show our support for our officers; they protect our home and home front, we just felt like we should be here,” Dunn said.

Sandy Manis first heard about Deputy Koontz’ injuries Sunday morning in a text from her manager.

She works with his wife Kassie Koontz at a Kokomo dental office.

“My husband is a pastor, so we took it before the church when we got there in the morning and we just prayed over the whole situation and for Kassie and Noah,” she said.

She was heartbroken to hear about his passing.

Nearly their entire office staff stood along Lincoln on Monday afternoon to attend the procession.

“We just want to show every bit of support for her and also for the community to be aware of the things that are going on,” Manis said.

She was amazed at the turnout for the procession from Indianapolis to Kokomo.

“Baby Noah may not grow up knowing his daddy, but this is just an awesome thing for him to go back and look at when he grows up to know that his daddy was truly a hero,” she said.

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