KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – A year after Howard County Sheriff Deputy Carl Koontz was killed, his widow turns to his heartbeat on her arm and son by her arm to keep moving.
The anniversary doesn’t make it any easier to visit his grave at Albright Cemetery in Kokomo. “The other day I was at the grave site, and I just kept thinking in my head: How has it already been a year?” Deputy Koontz’s widow, Kassie Koontz, said.
March 20 marks one year since Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz was killed. A suspect shot and killed Koontz while he was serving a warrant.
It’s a day his widow, Kassie Koontz, still replays in her head. “Him laying on the operating table not moving was very terrifying,” Kassie Koontz said. “I got up by his head, and I said, ‘Carl, I’m here.’ And he turned over and he opened his eyes, and he had bright blue eyes that I’ll never forget, they were so pretty. Then he closed his eyes.”
Since that day, it’s been a year of firsts for Koontz’s son. “Crawling was the first one, that was big,” Kassie Koontz said. “The walking, his first birthday, the talking.”
She also got her first tattoo. “It’s an infinity symbol with wife, because I will always be his wife,” Kassie Koontz said. “It has the sheriff’s star, representing Carl.”
It also features unique, jumping lines: “His heart rate from that night [he was killed],” Kassie Koontz said.
The tattoo isn’t her only daily reminder. Their son, Noah, brings back the most memories. “He’s all Carl,” Kassie Koontz said.
Noah’s likeness isn’t only his looks. Mom said he’s driven like dad, which could mean another deputy in the making.
“With how Noah is now with his determination, more than likely he will follow in his father’s footsteps,” Kassie Koontz said. “And I have to be proud of him.”
A mom not only proud of her son, but of the man who left her with so much: “My best friend, my husband, Noah’s father, a deputy that risked his life for everybody to make this community better,” Kassie Koontz said. “A hero that will never be forgotten.”
Koontz said the community support also helps. Following his death, companies made shirts and signs, raising thousands for her family.
The support will continue Monday. To learn more about the event, click here.