A community honors the life of Howard Co. deputy on one year anniversary of his death

(WISH Photo)

HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A community is remembering the life of a Howard County Deputy, who was shot and killed one year ago while serving a warrant in Russiaville.

Deputy Carl Koontz was 26-years-old.

Many people in the community said it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year. They attended a balloon release and a service to remember the sacrifice he made while serving and protecting his community.

It was an emotional day for family, friends, and those in law enforcement at Albright Cemetery. American flags lined the entrance as people made their way in to pay their respects to Deputy Carl Koontz.

“Today a year ago tragedy struck our community. I lost my best friend, my husband, Noah lost his father,” said Kassandra Koontz, widow. “Parents lost their son and the department and community lost an amazing officer and friend.”

Kassandra Koontz said this past year has been rough as she reflects on the one year anniversary of her husband’s death.

“I had to learn to live without my other half, I became a widow and a single mother. I had to move forward on days when I did not want too, but I continued to move forward to honor Carl and so Noah knows how great his dad was.”

Koontz said she’s truly grateful for the ongoing support from the community and from law enforcement. The Howard County Sheriff said they will never forget.

“I think in May we’ll be going to the police memorial in Washington with a group for the fact that Carl’s name will now be there on the wall,” said Sheriff Steven Rogers, Howard County Sheriff’s Department.

Blue balloons filled the gloomy sky, about an hour later, many students met at the auditorium at Northwestern High School.

“A lot of the kids today wore blue or wore their t-shirts that were sold last year to raise some of the funds,” said Principal Brett Davis, Northwestern Middle School.

The school held a remembrance service to honor a life they will never forget.

“He was the liaison officer for the entire corporation and we have a little saying in the middle school that we always say that we’re a big deal and you know officer Kontz was a real big deal to us,” said Davis.

At the balloon release, each balloon had a note with the deputy’s story attached to it. Family and friends are hoping whoever comes across the balloon will send the deputy’s widow and son a letter letting them know how far his story reached.