KOKOMO, Ind. – It’s been one year since Deputy Carl Koontz of the Howard County Sheriff’s Department was fatally shot while serving a search warrant in Russiaville.
Koontz and Sgt. Jordan Buckley were at the home of 25-year-old Evan Dorsey during the incident March 20, 2016. Police said as the officers approached the home, Dorsey opened fire on the pair before turning the gun on himself.
Both officers were struck by bullets, but Koontz, a three-year veteran of the department, was killed as a result.
"When officers knocked on the door by announcing their presence, they received no response. Upon entry the officers were confronted by gunfire and the officers returned fire," Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers said. "A Russiaville officer and other deputies were able to extract the officers and provide first aid."
Koontz left behind his wife, Kassandra, and his son Noah.
"I think if you have the opportunity to tell a police officer what you do appreciate about having them watch out for you every day, I think that's all that we can ask," Rogers said."He was an outstanding officer. Had great promise with our agency, and he will be greatly missed."
Not only was Koontz a deputy, he also served as a school resource officer at Northwestern Community Schools.
Northwestern Elementary Principal Ron Owings said Koontz was a "great guy."
"As much as he loved his job, he also enjoyed his time off with his family. He was a proud dad," Owings said.
Shortly after Koontz's death, a woman posted a Facebook photo showing the impact he had on the children within the district.
"Officer Koontz stood out in the cold for at least 30 minutes talking to Adalynne about car seat safety. He couldn't help but giggle every time she responded with her sassy remarks (she was not afraid that he was a cop what so ever). He then told us he has a little boy and asked if this is what he had to look forward to, I laughed and said 'Oh, you have no idea!' The news of his passing just breaks my heart. He was one of the sweetest men & officer I have met & was so patient and kind to Adalynne," the woman wrote.
Hundreds of officers and community members gathered March 29, 2016 for the Koontz's funeral, where his wife delivered the eulogy she wrote for their then 8-month-old son.
"Carl has touched so many people. Even though his courageous act took him physically, his legacy will live on forever," said Kassandra. "Family was everything to Carl. He would do anything for anyone at any hour of the day. Law enforcement was made for Carl. He was made for his career.”
During the memorial service, officers from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and New York paid their respects to Koontz.
There were so many squad cars participating in the procession from his funeral to his burial, that it took an hour to line them all up.